DOJ Reaches $139M Settlement with Victims of Larry Nassar

Larry Nassar

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department announced Tuesday that it has agreed to pay nearly $139 million to the victims of disgraced USA Gymnastics Team doctor Larry Nassar over the FBI’s mishandling of the case. 

The DOJ said in a news release that the money would be distributed among 139 victims. 

“These allegations should have been taken seriously from the outset,” acting associate attorney general Benjamin Mizer said in a statement. “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.”

The deal comes nearly three years after the DOJ’s inspector general issued a searing, 119-page report that found the bureau bungled the investigation. Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the Indianapolis Field Office “failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.” 

During the investigation, which began in 2015, the bureau waited five weeks to interview one of the victims and failed to notify the FBI’s Lansing office or state law enforcement.   

Following the report’s release, the FBI made no excuses for the blunders and said it “has taken affirmative steps to ensure and has confirmed that those responsible for the misconduct and breach of trust no longer work FBI matters.”

According to the report, Nassar sexually abused at least 70 young athletes between 2015 and August 2016. Nassar is effectively serving a life sentence in prison. 

In May 2022, the Justice Department said it decided it won’t pursue charges against two FBI agents for mishandling the investigation.

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