The heartbreaking fallout of the Michigan State University-USA Gymnastics sexual abuse scandal continues for the victims. Seeking consequences for another institution that failed to protect them, over 90 gymnasts are suing the FBI for mishandling the investigation.
According to CNN, Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney are among the claimants asking for $1 billion from the law enforcement agency. Although most of the gymnasts are asking for $10 million, Biles, Raisman and Maroney are each seeking $50 million, while Kaylee Lorincz and Hannah Morrow are asking for $42.5 million, for undisclosed reasons.
The Federal Tort Claims Act requires claimants to “give notice to the federal agency before a lawsuit is filed in federal court. The agency then has six months to either reach a settlement or deny the claim before the lawsuit can be brought.” It’s in this notice where “attorneys say the FBI had credible complaints from numerous victims by July 2015—but neglected to interview them or properly investigate the abuse.”
The claim also states “the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) possessed credible complaints from numerous sources and corroborating evidence of Dr. Larry Nassar’s sexual assaults of young women and children over the course of a number of years and across the globe.”
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of young women and girls over the course of 14 years. In 2018, Nassar was sentenced to 40-to-175 years in state prison in Michigan “after pleading guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct” He is also serving 60-years in federal prison for child pornography charges.
The way no one even attempted to protect these young women is unconscionable. They did everything that was asked of them and none of the adults around them bothered to care.
“The FBI was grossly derelict in their duties by declining to interview gymnasts who were willing to talk about the abuse, failing to transfer the complaint to Lansing Michigan where Nassar was continuing to abuse girls, ignoring its obligation to report child abuse to relevant state and federal agencies and lying to Congress, the media and FBI headquarters about their lack of diligence in investigating the Nassar complaint,” attorneys for the victims said in a statement.
So basically the damn FBI did nothing while women and girls continued to be abused.
“A Justice Department inspector general report found gross failures by the FBI to properly investigate complaints from gymnasts, who told the bureau in 2015 about the abuse,” per CNN. However, despite overwhelming evidence of negligence and deceit, the Department of Justice declined to bring charges against the agents involved.
As usual, law enforcement protects itself and victims suffer the consequences.
I hope with every fiber of my being that these women get every dime they’re asking for because it’s the least the FBI can do after what they put them through. The only “fidelity, bravery and integrity” in this case is coming from the victims.