Olympic Gold Medalists Sue FBI for Mishandling Sexual Assault Case

Female Olympians, including Simone Biles, plan to sue the FBI for $1 million over mishandled sexual assault claims.

The claimants say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar, a doctor for the US national gymnastics team, and accuse the FBI of mishandling credible sexual assault claims made by victims.

The group includes gymnastics Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney.

Nassar was charged with abusing gymnasts and now faces up to 175 years in prison. Most claimants, including athletes from the national gymnastics program and Michigan State University, where he ran a clinic, allege the doctor assaulted them even after they reported the abuse to the FBI in 2015.

The US Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General, the FBI’s watchdog, found that the agency had made significant errors in its investigation.

A report issued last year showed that cover-ups and limited measures by FBI agents allowed Nassar to continue abusing the gymnasts for more than a year after the case was first opened. The agency reportedly ignored the allegations and did not document any investigation or alert other authorities, the US Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General stated.

Also, two weeks ago, the FBI decided not to prosecute the agents accused of mishandling the sexual assault case.

McKayla Maroney, an Olympic gold medalist, said: “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.”

The gymnast added that it was clear that the only path to justice and healing was “through the legal process.”

The plaintiffs filed the Collective Administrative Claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which allows those who have been harmed by government negligence or illegal actions to obtain compensation. The athletes are seeking at least $1 million in total damages.

The FBI declined to comment on the situation but apologized for the Nassar investigation mishandling. The federal law gives the agency six months to respond to complaints.