Larry Nassar’s Victims Get $138.7 Million Settlement for Flawed FBI Probe

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Department of Justice has agreed to a $138.7 million settlement with victims of sports physician Larry Nassar who accused the FBI of failing to adequately investigate the convicted sex abuser.

Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin Mizer announced the settlement on Tuesday, saying: “For decades, Lawrence Nassar abused his position, betraying the trust of those under his care and medical supervision while skirting accountability.”

“These allegations should have been taken seriously from the outset,” he said.

The Department of Justice said Tuesday’s settlement will resolve 139 claims made against the FBI. “While these settlements won’t undo the harm Nassar inflicted, our hope is that they will help give the victims of his crimes some of the critical support they need to continue healing,” Mizer said.

Nearly three years ago, Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a scathing report detailing how delayed action on the part of Indianapolis-based FBI agents allowed Nassar to go on to molest 70 female athletes “under the guise of medical treatment.”

Allegations of sexual abuse were first made against Nassar in July 2015, but they weren’t pursued seriously until 14 months later, in September 2016 when Michigan State University Police raided Nassar’s home and discovered child pornography.

The report detailed a delayed investigation marred by a series of dangerous missteps. While the allegations against Nassar were initially disregarded, officials also lied and made “materially false statements” about the work that had been done in the case, the report said.

When the Los Angeles FBI office was eventually notified of the allegations against Nassar, the office began to investigate, but failed to notify other offices and local law enforcement, which allowed Nassar to continue to abuse victims.

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