WASHINGTON – More than 90 women who say they were sexually assaulted by Lawrence Nassar, a former U.S. gymnast convicted of state sexual assault, planned to file a lawsuit against the FBI on Wednesday for failing to prosecute him. He received credible information about his crimes.
The lawsuit comes two weeks after the Justice Department decided not to prosecute two former FBI agents accused of failing the Bureau in 2015 to disrupt the investigation into Mr Nassar, which allowed him to attack girls for more than a year before the Michigan authorities arrested him. him. The agents were accused by the Department of Justice’s own observer of making false statements on the matter.
The plaintiffs are Olympic gymnasts gold medalists Simon Bailes, Ali Raisman and McKillah Maron and national gymnastics medalist Maggie Nichols, as well as former University of Michigan gymnast Samantha Roy and former gymnast Kyle Lorinc, who now works as a sexy. Victim of the attack.
“My surviving compatriots and I have betrayed all the institutions we need to protect – the US Olympic Committee, the US Gymnastics Service, the FBI and now the Department of Justice,” Maroni said in a statement. “It is clear that the only way to justice and cure is the legal process,” he added.
The plaintiffs are seeking various sums of money in damages, but their total claims will exceed $ 1 billion, said their attorney, John S. Manley in a statement.
Mr Nassar, who was sentenced to 175 years in prison, has been charged with assaulting hundreds of girls and women, including many members of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic gymnastics women’s teams.
The FBI Field Office in Indianapolis received evidence of his crimes in 2015. Agents continued to interview the gymnasts, including Ms. Maroni, who gave a detailed testimony. Eventually they took no action to step up the investigation or stop Mr. Nasar.
The Department of Justice Inspector General later accused W. Jay Abbott, who headed the bureau’s Indianapolis field office, and Michael Langman, an agent of that office, of making false statements to investigators investigating their actions.
In a report released last summer, the Inspector General said Mr Abbott had made false statements “in order to reduce the errors made by the Indianapolis Field Office in relation to Nassar’s allegations”.
He also said Mr. Abbott was talking about the potential job opportunities for USA Gymnastics while asking the organization about the allegations against Mr. Nassar, actions that violated FBI policy.
The Inspector General’s report states that the FBI misrepresented witness surveys and did not share credible information about the violence with the relevant authorities.
He also found that 70 or more athletes had been sexually assaulted by Mr. Nassar in July 2015, when USA Gymnastics first reported allegations against Mr. Nassar at the FBI Indianapolis Field Office, and in August 2016, when the Michigan State University Police Department received a separate . Complaint.
Women who complain to the FBI say they were abused during this period.
“If the FBI had just done its job, Nassar would have stopped him before he could insult hundreds of girls, including me,” Ms Roy said in a statement.