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DOJ announces $139M settlement with victims of ex-Team USA doctor Larry Nassar

The Department of Justice (‘DOJ’) announced on Wednesday said that a civil settlement had been reached with the victims of ex-Team USA doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting gymnasts — resolving their claims of wrongdoing against the FBI in its failures to investigate allegations of sexual abuse.

ABC News reported that the claims were filed after the department said it was declining to pursue criminal charges against agents whom the DOJ’s inspector general found failed to properly investigate allegations of abuse by Nassar. The watchdog report found the FBI was notified of Nassar’s behavior but failed to act for more than 14 months, a period where Nassar is alleged to have abused at least 40 more girls and women.

Nassar had sexually abused hundreds of victims under the guise of performing medical treatments over the course of nearly two decades, ending in 2016. Once the settlement is finalized, it will resolve 139 tort claims filed against the DOJ and the FBI in 2022 by the long list of athletes and patients who reported abuse by Nassar, including Maggie Nichols, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.

Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin Mizer said in a press release: “for decades, Lawrence Nassar abused his position, betraying the trust of those under his care and medical supervision while skirting accountability. These allegations should have been taken seriously from the outset. While these settlements won’t undo the harm Nassar inflicted, our hope is that they will help give the victims of his crimes some of the critical support they need to continue healing.”

Nassar, 61, pleaded guilty in 2017 in connection with crimes against several victims and was sentenced to 60 years behind bars for child pornography and other charges, and again pleaded guilty in 2018 and was sentenced to an additional 40 to 175 years.  He is currently serving a prison term of between 40-175 years for multiple cases of sexual assault involving gymnasts at the school, as well as with USA Gymnastics.

Editorial credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

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