Gymnasts reach $380 million settlement in Larry Nassar abuse case

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FILE – U.S. gymnasts from left, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols, arrive to testify during a Senate Judiciary hearing about the Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Larry Nassar investigation on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Washington. Nassar was charged in 2016 with federal child pornography offenses and sexual abuse charges in Michigan. He is now serving decades in prison after hundreds of girls and women said he sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment when he worked for Michigan State and Indiana-based USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP)

(The Hill) – The organizations in charge of U.S. gymnastics have agreed to pay $380 million in a settlement with hundreds of victims of longtime team physician Larry Nassar, closing one part of a legal battle that has also extended to Capitol Hill.

The settlement is among the largest ever for sexual abuse, according to The Wall Street Journal, and ends years of legal wrangling.

“No amount of money will ever repair the damage that has been done and what these women have been through,” Rachael Denhollander, a Nassar survivor who was involved in settlement negotiations, told the New York Times. “But at some point, the negotiations have to end because these women need help — and they need it right now.”

A final holdout insurer for USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee confirmed that it would pay much of the settlement during a bankruptcy hearing on Monday, the Journal reported.

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee is set to pay $34 million of the settlement directly, as well as loan $6 million to USA Gymnastics for its contribution, per the Journal.

Olympic stars including Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney are among the claimants, along with local gymnasts who sought out treatment from Nassar because of his affiliation with the national bodies.

Biles and her fellow gold medalists have also taken the fight to Capitol Hill, calling for Congress to dissolve the Olympic committee’s board of directors.

“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar — and I also blame an entire system that perpetrated his abuse,” Biles said in September.

The gymnasts also offered a scathing assessment of the FBI’s failure to address complaints about Nassar’s abuse.

“To not indict these agents is a disservice to me and my teammates, a disservice to the system which is built to protect all of us from abuse,” Maroney said during testimony before Congress in August.

The Department of Justice announced in October that it was launching a new inquiry into the FBI’s handling of allegations against Nassar, specifically reviewing the department’s decision not to charge agents who mishandled the investigation.

Nassar was sentenced in 2018 to between 40 and 175 years in prison for the sexual assault of dozens of girls.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said at the time it was her “honor and privilege” to sentence him, adding, “I just signed your death warrant.” 

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