Hundreds of women who were abused by former US national gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar will receive $ 380 million after reaching a settlement with USA Gymnastics.
Thus ends a five-year legal battle that began in the wake of this great abuse scandal that rocked American sports.
Nassar was sentenced to more than 300 years in prison in 2018 for sexually abusing gymnasts, many of them as children.
Dozens of athletes, including several Olympic medalists, testified about how Nassar sexually abused them.
As part of the agreement, USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee will award board seats to some survivors.
Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to go public with the allegations against Nassar in 2016, welcomed the news, writing on Twitter: “This chapter is finally closed.”
“Now the hard work of reform and reconstruction can begin. That justice is done and there are changes depends on what happens next.”
The settlement will cover claims submitted by several Olympic gold medalists, including Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.
In all, Nassar was accused of sexual abuse by more than 330 women and girls from the USA Gymnastics federation and from Michigan State University.
“Courage and tenacity”
A report released in July found numerous errors, delays and cover-ups by FBI agents, allowing Nassar’s abuses to continue for several more months after the case was first opened.
A lawyer representing the victims described Monday’s agreement as “historic” but said they would continue to “see justice done” against authorities who did not investigate what was happening.
Attorney John C Manly paid tribute to the women who had testified publicly, adding: “We prevailed for one simple reason, the courage and tenacity of the survivors.”
USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy in 2018 as the lawsuits filed against Nassar continued to escalate.
The deal was confirmed during a hearing in federal bankruptcy court on Monday.
In a statement after the agreement was approved, USA Gymnastics said it was “deeply sorry for the trauma and pain that survivors have suffered as a result of the actions and inactions of this organization.”
“Individually and collectively, the survivors have boldly stepped forward to advocate for lasting change in this sport. We are committed to working with them, and the entire gymnastics community, to ensure that we continue to prioritize safety, health and the well-being of our athletes and the community above all else, “said USA Gymnastics President Li Li Leung.
In total, some $ 880 million in compensation has been agreed for cases related to Nassar’s abuses, after Michigan State University agreed to pay $ 500 million in 2018.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.