Sexual assault: US government to pay $139 million to gymnasts victims of Larry Nassar

The Larry Nassar affair caused an international earthquake

Sexual assault: US government to pay $139 million to gymnasts victims of Larry Nassar

The Larry Nassar affair caused an international earthquake. She continues to shake the world of gymnastics: the American government announced Tuesday April 23 that it would pay nearly $139 million (138.7) to the victims sexually assaulted by this former national team doctor.

Mr. Nassar is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted in 2017 and 2018 for two decades of sexually abusing more than 250 gymnasts, often underage. Among his many victims, we include Olympic champion Simone Biles, who attacked the American administration with a hundred other gymnasts, accusing the FBI of negligence.

Because the first accusations against him were transmitted in July 2015 to the local FBI office in Indianapolis. But the investigation was quickly abandoned and it took another report, in May 2016, for the federal police to launch new investigations.

“The other victims and I were betrayed by all the institutions that were supposed to protect us,” said former Olympic champion McKayla Maroney in 2022, targeting not only the FBI, but also the American federation, the Olympic Committee. and the Ministry of Justice.

“These allegations should have been taken seriously from the start,” agreed Benjamin Mizer, a Justice Department deputy. “While these settlements will not undo the harm Mr. Nassar inflicted, we hope they will help victims of his crimes get the critical support they need to continue their healing. »

“Fundamental errors”

In July 2021, a report from the general inspection of the Ministry of Justice concluded that there were “fundamental errors” on the part of the agents responsible for the initial investigation. A former osteopath and therapist, Mr. Nassar served as national medical coordinator for the USA Gymnastics Federation between 1996 and 2014. He also practiced at Michigan State University and club gymnastics, where he performed numerous times. victims.

Since his conviction, he was stabbed in prison in July 2023, an attack which he survived. His name remains associated with the biggest sexual assault scandal in gymnastics history, which completely changed the sport.

In the United States, the various financial compensations paid to the victims of the ex-doctor amount in total to more than a billion dollars, including 500 million by the State University of Michigan and 380 million by the federation gymnastics. Since this unprecedented affair, gymnasts from all over the world have spoken out to denounce abusive practices, revealing a toxic culture within their discipline.

The United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and even France: a cascade of revelations have taken place in recent years, denouncing decades of physical and psychological violence. This led the International Gymnastics Federation to adopt a new code of conduct in June 2022 to protect gymnasts against these practices.