US Government Agrees to $138.7 Million Settlement Over FBI’s Mishandling of Larry Nassar Assault Allegations

Larry Nassar and victims

The U.S. Justice Department has reached a $138.7 million settlement with over 100 individuals who accused the FBI of negligently handling allegations of sexual assault against former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

The mishandling occurred between 2015 and 2016, allowing Nassar to continue his abuse unchecked until his eventual arrest.

This settlement, when combined with previous agreements, brings the total compensation set aside for Nassar’s victims to $1 billion.

Nassar, who was employed at Michigan State University and served as a team doctor for USA Gymnastics, is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence for sexually assaulting numerous female athletes, including several Olympians.

Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin Mizer emphasized that the allegations against Nassar should have been taken seriously from the outset.

While the settlements cannot undo the harm inflicted by Nassar, they aim to provide critical support to the victims as they continue to heal.

The Justice Department’s acknowledgment of its failure to intervene comes after an internal investigation revealed that FBI agents in Indianapolis and Los Angeles were aware of allegations against Nassar for over a year but did not act.

FBI Director Christopher Wray expressed remorse for the agency’s inaction during a Senate hearing in 2021, addressing survivors including prominent Olympians Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney.

Following the FBI’s belated response, Nassar was charged with federal crimes in 2016 after images of child sexual abuse were discovered.

Concurrently, the Michigan attorney general’s office pursued assault charges, leading to Nassar’s eventual sentencing and the emergence of a nationwide reckoning with institutional failures to protect athletes from abuse.

While not part of the latest settlement, Rachael Denhollander, the first individual to publicly accuse Nassar of abuse, expressed gratitude for the Justice Department’s accountability measures.

Denhollander emphasized the rarity of such outcomes for survivors, underscoring the importance of restitution and justice in addressing systemic failures.

Michigan State University, implicated in missed opportunities to halt Nassar’s abuse, previously agreed to a $500 million settlement with over 300 survivors.

Additionally, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee reached a $380 million settlement, reflecting the magnitude of the harm inflicted on Nassar’s victims.

Attorney Mick Grewal, representing dozens of claimants, underscored the significance of the $1 billion in settlements as a testament to the severity of the injustices endured by Nassar’s victims.