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Gymnasts abused by former US team doctor in prison reach $ 380 million settlement


Victims of former U.S. National Gymnastics Team Doctor Larry Nassar will receive $ 380 million after reaching a settlement with USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and their insurers, lawyers said Monday. The settlement – one of the largest ever recorded for victims of sex abuse – ends a five-year legal battle that erupted after the abuse scandal that rocked the US Olympic movement. Nassar, 58, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting athletes in late 2017 and early 2018 while working as a sports medicine doctor at USA Gymnastics (USAG) and Michigan State University (MSU).

Hundreds of women – including Olympic gold medalists such as Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney – have accused Nassar of sexually abusing them over the course of his more than two decades career.

Monday’s settlement, which includes claims from Biles, Raisman and Maroney, was confirmed during a trial in a federal bankruptcy court in Indianapolis.

The deal means about $ 880 million in settlements have now been reached following an earlier $ 500 million settlement by MSU in 2018.

“We prevailed for one simple reason, the courage and perseverance of the survivors,” John Manly, representing more than 180 women abused by Nassar, said in a statement confirming details of the agreement.

“These brave women have revived their abuse in public, in countless media interviews, so that no more child will be forced to suffer physical, emotional or sexual abuse in the pursuit of their dreams.”

Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to make public allegations against Nassar in 2016, welcomed Monday’s settlement.

“This chapter is finally closed,” Denhollander wrote on Twitter. “Now the hard work of reform and rebuilding can begin. Whether justice will come and change will depend on what happens next.”

FBI targeted

USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy in 2018 after a tidal wave of allegations against Nassar overwhelmed the organization.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Monday’s settlement was reached after the TIG Insurance Company agreed to pay a “substantial portion” of the settlement.

The transaction includes a $ 34 million payment directly from the USOPC, as well as a $ 6 million loan from the USOPC to USA Gymnastics.

As part of the agreement, a victim of abuse will be placed on the board of USA Gymnastics.

In September, Olympic champion Biles and other Nassar victims gave devastating testimony in the U.S. Senate, discouraging U.S. sports officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for failing to act against Nassar when complaints against the doctor first surfaced. came.

USA Gymnastics reported Nassar to the FBI in July 2015, but he continued to work at MSU and sexually abused at least 70 more women until a newspaper exposed him in September 2016.

“We have suffered and continue to suffer because no one at the FBI, USAG or USOPC did what was necessary to protect us,” said Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medalist.

Biles’ co-Olympic gold medalist Maroney said during the trial that she had reported abuse by Nassar in 2015 during a three-hour telephone interview with an FBI agent, but that it was “minimized and disregarded.”

“Not only did the FBI not report my abuse, but when they finally documented my report 17 months later, they made completely false allegations about what I said,” Maroney told the trial.

Manly said Monday prosecutors will continue their fight to hold FBI, USAG and USOPC officials accountable.

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“There is one more chapter that needs to be written, the criminal prosecution of the FBI officials who failed to investigate and stop Nassar along with the USAG and USOPC officials who conspired with them to obstruct the investigation,” said Manly.

“We will continue to pursue justice on behalf of the hundreds of girls and young women who have been molested as a direct result of their obstruction of justice,” he said.

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