The dozens of survivors of former U.S. national gymnast team doctor Larry Nassar are seeking payment from the FBI for its lack of action in the 2015 investigation of the former physician. The victims, which include Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, are saying that the FBI deserves some blame in the 2017 scandal which left the nation shocked.

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The lawsuit also includes other gold medalists Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Biles herself. Maggie Nichols, one of the claimants and champion gymnast, said that their suit was filed because “it is time for the FBI to be held accountable.”

The FBI was aware of Nasar’s abuse as early as 2015, however, they did not act on the information allowing him to continue his sexual misconduct on young women for over a year. USA Gymnastics informed the bureau in 2015, but they did not open a formal investigation. In fact, Nassar’s initial arrest in 2016 occurred on the heels of an investigation done by Michigan State, where he was a doctor.

The FBI did not play a role in the hearings, court proceedings, or sentencing, all of which were done by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke to survivors in April 2021 at a Senate hearing where he referenced the bureau’s lack of action in the matter. “I’m especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed. And that’s inexcusable,” Wray told them.

This is not the first time the FBI has come under fire for its lack of action. The bureau had reached a $12.5 million settlement for those affected in the 2018 Parkland high school shooting. They had received a tip about the shooter about five weeks before the massacre, but it was not acted upon.

Michigan State, Nassar’s employer, also reached a $500 million settlement to the hundreds of women that were victimized by Nassar.

“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 Michigan gymnast and Nassar victim, Samantha Roy.

The FBI has not responded to the lawsuit yet.

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