Olympic star in $1.4 billion FBI lawsuit over failed sexual abuse investigation

The plaintiffs include: Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney and world championship medalist Maggie Nichols. Each has asked for $50 million ($69.5 million), according to the law firm representing them.

Gymnasts Kaylee Lorincz and Hannah Morrow are each asking $42.5 million ($59 million), the lawyers said. Lawyers say most of the 90 women are asking for $10 million each ($13.9 million); in total, the sum would be between $1 billion and $1.2 billion ($1.4 billion – $1.7 billion).

U.S. Olympic gymnasts (LR) Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols, arrive to testify at a Senate Judiciary hearing on the Inspector General's report on the FBI's handling of Larry Nassar sexual abuse investigation of Olympic gymnasts, on Capitol Hill, September 15, 2021, in Washington, DC.
U.S. Olympic gymnasts (LR) Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols, arrive to testify at a Senate Judiciary hearing on the Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s handling of Larry Nassar sexual abuse investigation of Olympic gymnasts, on Capitol Hill, September 15, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Getty)

CNN contacted the Justice Department, which oversees the FBI, and officials there declined to comment.

Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, plaintiffs must notify the federal agency before filing a lawsuit in federal court. The agency then has six months to settle or dismiss the claim before the lawsuit can be filed.

Notifying the Federal Tort Act’s claims, lawyers say the FBI had credible complaints from numerous victims in July 2015, but failed to interview them or properly investigate the abuse.

The claims say, in part, that “for a number of years and around the world, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had credible complaints from numerous sources and corroborating evidence of Dr. Larry Nassar (Nassar) sexual abuse of young women and children. “

U.S. Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman testify at a Senate Judiciary hearing on the Inspector General's report on the FBI's handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse investigation Olympic Gymnasts, on Capitol Hill, September 15, 2021, in Washington, DC.
U.S. Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman testify at a Senate Judiciary hearing on the Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse investigation Olympic Gymnasts, on Capitol Hill, September 15, 2021, in Washington, DC. (AP)

FBI officials, who possessed this knowledge and were able to end the predation of Nassar, were grossly negligent in their duties, leading to Nassar killing about 100 young women between July 28, 2015 and September 12, 2016. and children, and colluded with top officials within the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, Inc to hide this known sexual abuse from foreseeable victims,” ​​the claim said.

“The FBI was grossly negligent in refusing to interview gymnasts willing to discuss the abuse, not forwarding the complaint to Lansing Michigan, where Nassar continued to abuse girls, and disregarding its obligation to report child abuse to the appropriate state. and federal agencies and are lying to Congress, the media and FBI headquarters about their lack of due diligence in investigating the Nassar complaint,” the victims’ lawyers said in a statement.

“As a result, Nassar continued his predatory behavior, sexually assaulting about 90 young women and children between July 28, 2015 and September 12, 2016.”

A general report by the Justice Department inspector found gross errors by the FBI to properly investigate complaints from gymnasts (Getty)

Nichols, an NCAA national champion, claimed responsibility from the FBI.

“The FBI knew Larry Nassar was a danger to children when his abuse of me was first reported in September 2015. For 421 days, they worked with USA Gymnastics and USOPC to hide this information from the public and allowed Nassar to continue. molesting young women and girls,” Nichols said. “It’s time the FBI was held accountable.”

Nassar, the longtime physician of the US Gymnastics team and Michigan State University, is serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison on charges of child pornography.

He was also sentenced to 40 to 175 years in Michigan after pleading guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Nassar pleaded guilty to sexually abusing seven girls in Ingham County, Michigan.  (Getty)
Nassar, the longtime physician of the US Gymnastics team and Michigan State University, is serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison on child pornography charges

A general report by the Justice Department’s inspector general found gross mistakes by the FBI to properly investigate complaints from gymnasts, who told the agency about the abuse in 2015.

The Inspector General found that the agents lied to investigators, but the Justice Department during the Trump administration and again early in the Biden administration declined to press charges.

In April, 13 of Nassar’s sexual assault victims filed separate claims against the FBI for a total of $130 million ($180 million), saying all agents involved in the Nassar investigation had chosen to “turn a blind eye.” to squeeze” for Nassar’s child sexual abuse.

Those 13 victims charged officers with “negligence” and “tort acts” during the investigation, according to administrative tort claims that demanded $10 million ($13.9 million) for each victim.

US Olympic gymnast Simone Biles has been sworn to testify at a Senate Judiciary Hearing on the Inspector General's report on the FBI's handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse investigation.
US Olympic gymnast Simone Biles has been sworn to testify at a Senate Judiciary Hearing on the Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse investigation. (Getty)

In May, the Justice Department announced it would not press charges against two former FBI agents accused of mishandling the Nassar sexual abuse investigation — the third time prosecutors have reached that conclusion.

In a statement at the time, the department said the latest decision to dismiss the agents’ charges “came after multiple reviews and analyzes of evidence gathered in the investigation of the former agents and reflects the recommendation of experienced prosecutors.”

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