*Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and several of her fellow female gymnasts are taking legal action against the FBI over the agency’s handling of the Larry Nassar case.
Biles joins 90 claimants who are seeking more than $1 billion in damages. The Associated Press reports that the women allege the FBI failed to intervene when the sexual assault allegations against Nassar were made against him.
“It is time for the FBI to be held accountable,” said Maggie Nichols, a national champion gymnast at Oklahoma in 2017-2019.
“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,” added former University of Michigan gymnast Samantha Roy.
The FBI was made aware in 2015 that Nassar was allegedly assaulting gymnasts, but agents failed to act. Nassar would go on to target young women and girls for more than a year before he faced criminal charges. He pleaded guilty in 2017 and is serving decades in prison.
The 90 claimants include Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, all Olympic gold medalists. Per the report, 13 claims were filed separately by others in April. Additional lawsuits could follow, depending on the FBI’s response.
Back in September, Biles testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill and blamed the “entire system” for the sexual abuse by the disgraced gymnastics doctor.
As we previously reported, in her emotional testimony, Biles said she didn’t want another young athlete to experience the horror that she and hundreds of other gymnasts endured.
“I don’t want another young gymnast, Olympic athlete, or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others have endured before, during, and continuing to this day,” Biles said.
“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar — and I also blame an entire system that perpetrated his abuse,” she continued.
The Judiciary panel held the hearing following the release of a Justice Department inspector general report that faulted the FBI for not responding to the allegations against Nassar with the urgency they required. McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman also testified before Congress about what they say were failures in FBI’s handling of Nassar’s sexual abuse case.
Biles said those who were tasked with ensuring the safety of gymnasts “failed to do their jobs.”
“Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable,” she continued. “If they are not, I am convinced that this will continue to happen to others across Olympic sports.”