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Justice Department pays $138 million over FBI failures in Larry Nassar case

U.S. Olympic Gymnasts Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and NCAA and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols testified on Capitol Hill in 2021 about the Inspector General's report on the FBI handling of the Larry Nassar investigation of sexual abuse of Olympic gymnasts.
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U.S. Olympic Gymnasts Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and NCAA and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols testified on Capitol Hill in 2021 about the Inspector General's report on the FBI handling of the Larry Nassar investigation of sexual abuse of Olympic gymnasts.

The Justice Department says it will pay $138.7 million to settle 139 claims arising from sexual abuse committed by former physician and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

The settlement agreements will resolve the claims lodged against the United States that alleged the FBI failed to conduct an adequate investigation of Nassar's conduct. It also will likely put an end to years of efforts by some of the gymnasts including Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney to hold federal authorities accountable for not adequately investigating the dozens of allegations.

Nassar was a Michigan State University sports doctor as well as a lead physician for Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics. For nearly two decades, he sexually abused hundreds of victims, including elite and gold medal-winning Olympic gymnasts, under the guise of performing medical treatments.

He was arrested by Michigan authorities in 2016 and later sentenced to serve decades in prison. In 2021, the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General issued a report critical of the FBI's response to - and - investigation of allegations against Nassar.

The Justice Department probe found the FBI mishandled the case against Nassar and failed to respond to the allegations with "the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required." The DOJ also said in its July 2021 report that the FBI made numerous and fundamental errors and violated multiple policies along the way.

The Justice Department had previously said it would not charge the FBI agents who initially mishandled the Nassar case. In 2021, USA Gymnastics agreed to pay hundreds of the female survivors $380 million to settle their claims.

In the DOJ's statement, Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin Mizer said, "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 has been assaulted several times in prison including multiple stabbings last year.

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NPR Staff