Crime and Courts

Justice Department in settlement talks to pay around $100 million to Larry Nassar victims, sources say

More than 100 women collectively sought more than $1 billion from the federal government for the FBI’s failure to stop Nassar

FILE - Larry Nassar sits during his sentencing hearing, Jan. 24, 2018, in Lansing, Mich.
Carlos Osorio/AP (File)

The Justice Department is far along in settlement talks with victims of Larry Nassar, and the final number is likely to be close to $100 million, two people familiar with the negotiations tell NBC News. But they say the settlement has not been finalized.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the deal and the expected settlement amount.

The department found that the FBI failed to properly act when the athletes raised concerns about Nassar. In July 2021, the top watchdog at the Justice Department released a report stating that the FBI’s Indianapolis field office made "fundamental errors" and failed to notify other FBI offices or state or local authorities.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department said Wednesday that it "can’t confirm the WSJ’s reporting at this time."

More than 100 women collectively sought more than $1 billion from the federal government for the FBI’s failure to stop Nassar.  

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman testifies at a U.S. Senate hearing on the FBI’s mishandling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case.

Michigan State University, where Nassar worked, agreed to pay $500 million in 2018 to women and girls who say they were assaulted by him, and USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee reached a $380 million settlement with survivors in 2021.

Nassar pleaded guilty in 2017 to abusing 10 of the more than 265 patients who said they had been molested. Survivors included USA Gymnastics national team members McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Sabrina Vega, Ashton Locklear, Kyla Ross, Simone Biles, and Alyssa Baumann.

He also separately pleaded guilty to possessing child sex abuse images. Nassar is serving up to 175 years in prison.

In Inspector General Michael Horowitz's 2021 report, a special agent in charge of the Indianapolis field office was accused of instructing the FBI to release a false statement to the media in early 2017 saying his office had "expeditiously responded" to the allegations about Nassar. Members of the media had questioned why the FBI failed to act from July 2015, when USA Gymnastics first raised the allegations, to Septemeber 2016, when Nassar's home was searched by police.

The report said that the FBI's office had only interviewed one of the three victims who had come forward at the time and were willing to speak with investigators. The report went on to say that Nassar, who worked at Michigan State University and the Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, continued to abuse his patients up to his arrest by local authorities in November 2016

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