Champion Simone Biles and more than 90 other American gymnasts sued federal police on Wednesday for a billion dollars, accused of “negligence” in the scandal of sexual abuse committed by former doctor Larry Nassar.
“The FBI knew Larry Nassar was a danger to children when my assault was first reported in September 2015,” gymnast Maggie Nichols said in a statement from the law firm. lawyers Manly, Stewart & Finaldi.
She accused FBI officers of “working” with the United States Gymnastics Federation and the United States Olympic Committee “for 421 days to hide this information from the public, allowing Nassar to continue to assault girls and young women.”
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Former United States women’s team doctor Larry Nassar, 58, is serving a life sentence after he was heavily convicted in 2017 and 2018 for the sexual assaults of more than 250 mostly underage gymnasts at the in the gymnastics federation, at Michigan State University and in a gymnastics club.
The first charges against him were forwarded in July 2015 to the local FBI office in Indianapolis.
The investigation was quickly dropped and it took another report, in May 2016, for the federal police to launch new investigations.
The agents “committed numerous and fundamental errors and violated several FBI rules”, had then reprimanded the general inspection of the Ministry of Justice in a damning report.
However, the ministry announced in late May that it would not prosecute the officers at fault.
“The other victims and I have been betrayed by all the institutions that were supposed to protect us,” said former Olympic champion McKayla Maroney, also quoted in the statement, mentioning the federation, the Olympic committee, the FBI and the Ministry of Justice.
“Clearly our only path to justice and healing is through the legal process,” she added.
In September 2021, Maroney, Biles and Nichols had blasted before a Senate committee the inaction of sports and police authorities in the face of charges against Larry Nassar.
The FBI did not comment, pointing to FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony before the Senate committee last year.
He then apologized to the doctor’s victims, admitting that “the fundamental mistakes made in 2015 and 2016 should never have been”.
In December 2021, the American sports authorities had agreed to pay $ 380 million in compensation to the victims of Larry Nassar.