World-class gymnast Simone Biles and 90 other women and girls have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), collectively seeking $1 billion for the agency’s handling of the Larry Nassar investigation.
The lawsuit alleges that despite the FBI having knowledge that Nassar was abusing gymnasts in 2015, they did not take any action until 2017, giving him another two years to prey on the athletes–more than 70 over the course of a year.
“If the FBI had simply done its job, Nassar would have been stopped before he ever had the chance to abuse hundreds of girls, including me,” said former University of Michigan gymnast Samantha Roy.
Biles was one of over 150 women and girls who came forward to accuse former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse. Nassar headed faced a judge over the allegations, and in January 2018, he was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison. He was also given a 60-year sentence in December 2017 in federal prison on child pornography charges.
“My fellow survivors and I were betrayed by every institution that was supposed to protect us – the US Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, the FBI and now the Department of Justice,” Kayla Maroney, an Olympic gold medallist, said in a statement. “It is clear that the only path to justice and healing is through the legal process.”
Nassar received multiple sentences amounting to life in prison without parole.
“I am also a survivor of sexual abuse and I believe without a doubt that the circumstances that led to my abuse and allowed it to continue are directly the result of the fact that the organizations created by Congress to oversee and protect me as an athlete – USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee – failed to do their jobs,” Biles said before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September.