Simone Biles and other artistic gymnastics athletes in the United States are suing the FBI for more than $1 billion, about R$4.87 billion, for a mistake in the investigation in the case of sexual harassment and abuse of sports doctor Larry Nassar. The charge would be that the agency “failed to respond to the allegations against Nassar with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and demanded.”
Simone Biles testifies in the US Senate — Photo: Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images
According to the athletes, the FBI knew about allegations against Nassar in 2015, but did not take the necessary action at the time. The complaint alleges that Nassar continued to harass gymnasts for another year without being punished, after the FBI became aware of the case.
In all, there were 150 victims of the sports doctor, who worked with the US Olympic gymnastics team. Nassar was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in prison for sexual abuse and harassment in 2018. The former doctor, however, was already serving a 60-year sentence after being accused of possessing child pornography materials in 2017.
The athletes are now seeking justice against the US investigative body. In her testimony to the US Senate in 2021, Simone Biles, Olympic champion at the 2016 Rio Olympics, blamed the body and the North American Gymnastics Federation.
– I don’t want any other athlete to suffer the horror that I lived. We suffer and continue to suffer because no one did what was necessary to protect us. They failed us and we deserve answers. Nassar is where he belongs, but those who allowed the abuses must be held accountable. – Said the athlete very shaken during the testimony.
Larry Nassar courtroom — Photo: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Former University of Michigan gymnast Samantha Roy stressed that the FBI’s belated actions contributed to Nassar’s continued illegal practices.
– If the FBI had just done its job, Nassar would have been arrested before he even had the chance to abuse hundreds of girls, including me. – said Samantha
Olympic champion McKayla Maroney was one of the first to denounce Nassar. However, the former gymnast claims that not only did she not have her complaint taken seriously, but her lines were tampered with by the FBI.
– After telling my entire abuse story to the FBI in 2015, not only did the FBI not report my abuse, but when they finally documented my report 17 months later, they made totally false claims about what I said. – confirmed Maroney
The investigation against Nassar began in 2016 and ended in 2018. The former doctor is serving time in a Florida penitentiary.