June 14, 2024
Serena Williams

Simone Biles testifies against Larry Nassar in September 2021.

The US Justice Department announced on Tuesday
that it has finalized a 138.7 million-dollar settlement to address 139 claims from victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

In a statement, the Justice Department clarified that these settlements pertain to administrative claims against the United States due to the FBI’s inadequate investigation of Nassar’s misconduct.

Larry Nassar, who served as the USA Gymnastics team physician for 18 years and also worked at the University of Michigan, committed sexual abuse over nearly two decades until his arrest in 2016, under the pretext of medical treatments.

The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General released a report in July 2021 criticizing the FBI’s handling of the allegations against Nassar.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer condemned Nassar’s actions.

“For decades, Lawrence Nassar abused his position, betraying the trust of those under his care and supervision, and evading accountability,” Mizer declared.

Mizer emphasized that the allegations should have been taken seriously from the outset.

“While these settlements cannot fully repair the harm caused by Nassar, our hope is that they will offer critical support to the victims as they continue on their path of healing.”

Biles was one of a number of victims who will receive payments
Notable victims of Nassar’s abuse include renowned athletes such as Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Sabrina Vega, Ashton Locklear, Kyla Ross, and Alyssa Baumann.

In 2017, Nassar pleaded guilty to abusing 10 of the more than 265 athletes who reported abuse.

Michigan State University, where Nassar worked at a clinic, had previously agreed in 2018 to a 500-million-dollar settlement for women and girls who reported sexual abuse.

Furthermore, the USA Gymnastics federation and the US Olympic and Paralympic committees reached a 380-million-dollar settlement with Nassar’s victims in 2021.

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