source：china daily editor：wenny
more than 90 women, including olympic gold medalist simone biles, filed lawsuits against the federal bureau of investigation on wednesday for failing to investigate former usa gymnastics doctor larry nassar when it first received allegations, allowing the doctor to continue sexually abusing them until his arrest more than a year later.
file photo: us olympic gymnast simone biles is sworn in to testify during a senate judiciary hearing about the inspector general's report on the fbi handling of the larry nassar investigation of sexual abuse of olympic gymnasts, on capitol hill, in washington, d.c., us, september 15, 2021. [photo/agencies]
the lawsuits, seeking $1 billion in damages, come two weeks after the justice department announced it will not prosecute two former fbi agents accused of mishandling the case. the department said there was not enough evidence for a federal criminal case.
nassar was accused of molesting hundreds of girls and women, including many members of the 2012 and 2016 us olympic gymnastics teams. the fbi first received allegations against him in 2015, but the agents failed to act, allowing him to assault more than 70 girls and women for over a year before he was arrested in december 2016 on a separate complaint.
nassar was sentenced to 60 years on child pornography charges in december 2017. a month later, he was sentenced to up to 175 years for criminal sexual conduct.
the justice department's inspector general released a report in september, which sharply criticized the fbi's treatment of nassar and found that the accused fbi agents made false statements about the investigation.
during a senate hearing last year, fbi director christopher wray acknowledged that "there were people at the fbi who had their chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed".
the justice department initiated a review of the accusation against the two agents in october. the review ended last month with the decision not to prosecute them.
plaintiffs of wednesday's lawsuits also include olympic gold medalists aly raisman and mckayla maroney and the national gymnastics medalist maggie nichols, as well as former gymnasts from the university of michigan and michigan state university.
first victim interviewed
maroney was the first victim to be interviewed by the fbi agents in the indianapolis field office in 2015. she was 19 years old then, and nassar sexually assaulted her for many years, starting when she was 13.
the officials in the indianapolis office failed to respond to the allegations "with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required", and they also "made numerous and fundamental errors when they did respond" to the allegations and also failed to notify state or local authorities of the allegations, according to the inspector general's report.
the two former agents are w. jay abbott, who was in charge of the indianapolis field office, and michael langeman, an agent in that office. among langeman's missteps was waiting 17 months to document his interview with maroney.
langeman was fired two weeks before biles, maroney and other gymnasts testified before congress about the fbi's mishandling of the nassar matter.
the justice department declined to prosecute abbott, who retired in january 2018 during the investigation.
during the inspector general's investigation, abbott made false statements "to minimize errors made by the indianapolis office in connection with the handling of the nassar allegations", according to the inspector general's report.