Sunday, June 16, 2024

Larry Nassar Victims | 380 million agreements with US sports authorities

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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(Los Angeles) Victims of Larry Nassar, the former U.S. women’s gymnastics team doctor, are to receive $380 million after a deal with the Federation, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and their insurance companies, according to the Wall Street Journal on Monday.

That agreement, which was confirmed at a federal bankruptcy court hearing in Indianapolis, ends a five-year legal battle.

Larry Nassar, 58, is serving a life sentence after being severely convicted in 2017 and 2018 of sexually assaulting more than 250 underage gymnasts over two decades while working in the USA, but also at Michigan State University and at Gymnastics club.

The compensation to be paid is one of the largest ever awarded to victims of sexual assault, after the $500 million Michigan State University pledged to settle in 2018, after concluding a compensation agreement with more than 300 victims.

Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney testified at a Senate hearing in September. Not only did they describe the abuse they experienced, but they also blamed US Gymnastics Federation, the USOPC and the Federal Police (FBI) officials for not taking any action to prevent the sexual assault perpetrated by the ex-doctor.

Photo by Saul Loeb, Reuters Archives

Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman

Penalty class for writing

This landmark agreement ends another chapter in the Larry Nassar scandal. Survivors have now received a total of $880 million in compensation for their pain and suffering at the hands of this monster, with the institutions that have allowed him to do so, responded John C. Manley, the chief lawyer representing the victims.

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John Manley concluded that “there remains one chapter to be written, and that is the chapter on the criminal prosecution of FBI agents who failed to investigate and arrest Nassar, as well as members of USA Gymnastics and the USOPC who conspired with them to obstruct the investigation.”

Rachel Denhalander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar in 2016, welcomed the deal. This chapter is finally closed. Now the serious work of repair and reconstruction can begin. Whether or not justice is served and change is made depends on what happens next.”

USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy in 2018, mired in a slew of lawsuits brought by Nassar victims.

Photo RENA LAVERTY, Agence France-Presse Archives

Larry Nassar

According to the WSJ, a deal could be reached on Monday after the insurer TIG agreed to pay a “significant portion” of the compensation. The deal includes a $34 million direct payment from USOPC, as well as a $6 million loan from USOPC to USA Gymnastics.

Finally, as part of the agreement, a victim of these sexual assaults will be named to the board of directors of the American Gymnastics Federation.

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