Thirteen athletes who were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar are seeking $10 million each from the FBI, claiming that agents mishandled the investigation into the former sports doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University.
Lawyer Jamie White said Thursday that he filed a tort claim Wednesday against the law enforcement agency, giving the FBI six months to respond to the filing.
The move is the latest legal action surrounding Nassar’s 2018 conviction for decades of sexual abuse.
In 2021, the Justice Department’s inspector general released a report concluding that the FBI bungled Nassar’s abuse investigation, failing to act swiftly after accounts of abuse were brought to agents in 2015.
The 13 athletes seeking payments from the FBI were gymnasts at the Twistars gymnastics club in Michigan and were assaulted after the FBI was first made aware of abuse allegations in 2015, according to White.
“Some were assaulted before 2015, and all were at least assaulted after,” he said. “These were allegations of a serial rapist who was known to the FBI as the Olympic U.S. doctor with unfettered access to young women.”
White expects more claims against the FBI to be filed as he says more than 100 women were assaulted after July 2015.
The FBI declined to comment Thursday, instead referring to director Christopher Wray’s comments during last year’s congressional hearing.
“I’m sorry that so many different people let you down, over and over again,” Wray said during last year’s Senate hearing. “And I’m especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed. And that’s inexcusable. It never should have happened.”
Michigan State, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee also have faced scrutiny for their handling of the Nassar case, with the school agreeing to a $500 million payment to more than 300 women and USAG agreeing to a $380 million settlement.