Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

United States

F.B.I. Indicates It’s Willing to Settle Nassar Lawsuits

WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. has indicated that it is willing to settle scores of lawsuits filed against the bureau for its failure to investigate Lawrence G. Nassar, the former doctor for U.S.A. Gymnastics who was later convicted on state sexual abuse charges.

In a letter to lawyers representing the women who have sued the F.B.I., the bureau said it was “interested in considering all options to reach a resolution, including settlement discussions,” according to a copy of the letter reviewed by The New York Times on Thursday.

John C. Manly, a lawyer representing many of the plaintiffs, declined to comment.

In June, more than 90 women filed their civil suits after the Justice Department declined to prosecute two former F.B.I. agents who were accused by the department’s watchdog of bungling a 2015 inquiry into Mr. Nassar. Mr. Manly said at the time that the plaintiffs were seeking different amounts in damages, but their total claims would exceed $1 billion.

Plaintiffs including the Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney say they were sexually assaulted by Mr. Nassar, and they accused the F.B.I. of failing to investigate him when it received credible information about his abuse.

In a separate suit in April, 13 female athletes made similar accusations against the F.B.I., seeking $10 million each.

The F.B.I.’s handling of the Nassar investigation and the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute the agents have drawn sharp criticism, including from lawmakers like Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, and Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California. The agents should be held accountable, Mr. Blumenthal said, calling the decision not to charge them “infuriating.”

Kenneth A. Polite, the head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, met Mr. Blumenthal and Ms. Feinstein on Thursday to brief them on the case and the F.B.I.’s offer to enter joint settlement talks, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In a scathing report released last summer, the department’s inspector general accused W. Jay Abbott, who was in charge of the bureau’s Indianapolis field office, and Michael Langeman, an agent in that office, of making false statements to investigators who were examining how the F.B.I. had handled the Nassar case.

People charged with making false statements to a federal investigator can face a maximum of five years in prison.

After the agents received credible information about Mr. Nassar’s abuse in 2015, they interviewed gymnasts including Ms. Maroney, but ultimately did nothing more, according to the inspector general. And they failed to share information they had received about Mr. Nassar with state or local law enforcement.

For more than a year afterward, Mr. Nassar continued to treat and sexually assault dozens of patients, including ones at Michigan State; Twistars gymnastics club in Dimondale, Mich.; and Holt High School in Michigan. He was not stopped until Michigan authorities arrested him in late 2016.

Last fall, Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, testified before Congress that “there were people at the F.B.I. who had their chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed.”

The deputy attorney general, Lisa O. Monaco, vowed to lawmakers that the Justice Department would initiate a review of how the agents handled the Nassar case.

But in May, the department declined to charge Mr. Abbott and Mr. Langeman, even though they appeared to have made false statements. Officials said that prosecutors did not have enough evidence to bring criminal charges.

“This does not in any way reflect a view that the investigation of Nassar was handled as it should have been, nor in any way reflect approval or disregard of the conduct of the former agents,” the department said in a statement, adding that the decision reflected the guidance of experienced prosecutors.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like


FIRST ON FOX: The Florida Democratic Party Jewish Caucus is calling on the Florida branch of the Republican Jewish Coalition to join the ranks...


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, thinks that Republicans have a lukewarm chance of flipping the Senate in November, citing “candidate quality” as a...


Georgia gubernatorial Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams co-chaired a racial justice organization that’s financed by an executive of Alibaba, a Chinese firm that reportedly helped...


Germany should allow the blocked Nord Stream 2 pipeline to begin pumping Russian natural gas so “people do not have to freeze in winter...

United States

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Before Pennsylvania’s primary, much of the state’s Republican establishment agreed that Doug Mastriano would be a disaster as the nominee...


President Biden called Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., after her overwhelming defeat in Tuesday’s Republican primary, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Trump-backed challenger...


The United States will donate eight Bell helicopters to the Czech Republic, Prague’s Defense Minister Jana Černochová said. Speaking to Czech TV on Thursday...


FIRST ON FOX: A Michigan Democratic congressional candidate’s former law firm claimed on its website that authorities “lead and manipulate” children in sex abuse...