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DOJ Negotiates Settlements with Larry Nassar Victims

The Justice Department has begun negotiating settlements with more than 100 women and girls who accused former gymnast doctor Larry Nassar of sexual assault, the Wall Street Journal reports. The woman sued over the FBI's mishandling of the case. Nassar was reported to the FBI in the summer of 2015 for allegedly sexually abusing female gymnasts under the guise of medical treatment. Elite gymnasts Simone Biles, Mckayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman are among those who have charged Nassar. Victims and politicians were outraged on learning that Nassar would not be charged in a federal case, a decision announced by the Department of Justice in May. Kenneth Polite, head of the Justice Department criminal division, said he did not criminal charges could be proved. Nassar is serving an effective life sentence in prison on state sexual-abuse and child-pornography charges.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said he believed the Justice Department was trying to avoid accountability for its failures. He said DOJ should give Congress more evidence on why it declined to prosecute. According to Jamie White, a lawyer representing 13 women accusing Nassar of assault, each of the victims is hoping to receive up to $10 million. They argue that they were harmed as a result of the FBI’s negligence and failure to follow Justice Department procedures. The Justice Department investigation found that after the FBI received a report from USA Gymnastics, agents did not take it seriously by not documenting evidence or transferring allegations to the FBI office in Lansing, Mi The investigation also found that FBI agents made false statements to cover their mistakes.