June 8 (Reuters) – More than 90 women plan to file lawsuits against the FBI, accusing former agents at the agency of botching the sex abuse investigation into former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, the New York Times reported.
Olympic gymnastics gold medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney are among the women who will file lawsuits seeking total claims of more than $1 billion, the newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a statement from the women’s lawyer.
Their lawyer, John Manly, was not immediately available for comment.
The development comes two weeks after the U.S. Justice Department said it will stand by its prior decision not to file criminal charges against former FBI agents accused of botching the investigation into Nassar in 2015.
In April, 13 unnamed sexual abuse survivors of Nassar submitted administrative tort claims against the FBI, seeking a total of $130 million from the FBI over similar allegations.
Nassar, who is also a former employee of Michigan State University, was sentenced in 2018 to up to 175 years in prison for abusing young female gymnasts entrusted to his care.
In September 2021, high profile Olympic gymnasts including Biles and Maroney gave heart-wrenching testimony before a U.S. Senate panel about the sexual abuse they endured for years under Nassar’s care.
At that hearing, the gymnasts blasted the FBI for its mishandling of the investigation, with Biles accusing the bureau of turning a blind eye to all of Nassar’s victims.
A July 2021 report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz uncovered widespread and dire errors by the FBI that allowed Nassar to continue to abuse at least 70 more victims before he was finally arrested.
The report singled out two former FBI agents and said agents waited five weeks before conducting a phone interview with just one victim – Maroney – while failing to contact other victims.