Larry Nassar abuse survivors to receive $380m settlement

McKayla Maroney, left, and Simone Biles leave following their testimony before the Senate in September
Olympic gold medallists McKayla Maroney, left, and Simone Biles are two of the highest profile victims

Hundreds of women abused by former US national gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar are to receive $380 million (£287 million) after reaching a settlement with USA Gymnastics.

It ends a five-year legal battle that began in the wake of the huge abuse scandal that rocked US sport.

Nassar was sentenced to over 300 years in jail in 2018 for molesting gymnasts.

Athletes including a number of Olympic medallists testified about how Nassar sexually abused them.

The settlement is among the largest ever for a sexual abuse case, and as part of the agreement USA Gymnastics and the Olympic Committee will give board seats to survivors.

Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to go public with allegations against Nassar in 2016, welcomed the news, writing on Twitter: “This chapter is finally closed.”

She added: “Now the hard work of reform and rebuilding can begin. Whether or not justice comes and change is made, depends on what happens next.”

The settlement will cover claims brought by Olympic gold medallists including Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.

In total, Nassar was accused of sexual abuse by more than 330 women and girls at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University.

A report into an FBI investigation, which was published in July, found numerous missteps, delays and cover-ups by FBI agents, which allowed Nassar’s abuse to continue for several more months after the case was first opened.

A lawyer representing the victims described Monday’s settlement as “historic” but said they would continue to “pursue justice” against officials who had failed to investigate.

Lawyer 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 claims filed against Nassar kept mounting. The settlement was confirmed during a hearing in a federal bankruptcy court on Monday.

In a statement after the settlement was approved, USA Gymnastics said it was “deeply sorry for the trauma and pain that survivors have endured as a result of this organization’s actions and inactions”.

“Individually and collectively, survivors have stepped forward with bravery to advocate for enduring change in this sport. We are committed to working with them, and with the entire gymnastics community, to ensure that we continue to prioritize the safety, health and wellness of our athletes and community above all else,” USA Gymnastics president Li Li Leung said.

In total, some $880m in compensation has now been agreed in cases relating to Nassar’s abuse – after Michigan State University agreed to pay out $500 million in 2018.

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