USA Gymnastics agrees to a $380 million settlement with more than 300 of the victims, who claim they were sexually abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar. The agreement comes in light of recent reform at USA Gymnastics and USOPC that vow greater transparency for future investigations.
The “larry nassar documentary” is a documentary that gives insight on the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. USA Gymnastics and USOPC reached a $380 million settlement with the victims.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) — After a $380 million deal, the legal battling between USA Gymnastics and the hundreds of victims of sexual assault by former national team doctor Larry Nassar, among others, is ended.
McKayla Maroney, a US Olympic gymnast, speaks during a Senate Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill on September 15, 2021, about the Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Larry Nassar investigation into sexual assault of Olympic gymnasts. (AFP photo by SAUL LOEB / POOL) (Photo courtesy of Getty Images/SAUL LOEB/POOL/AFP)
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The push for real reform inside the sport’s regulatory organization is just getting started.
The agreement between USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and the more than 500 victims was approved by a federal bankruptcy court in Indianapolis on Monday, putting an end to one aspect of the fallout from the largest sexual abuse scandal in the history of the US Olympic movement.
The proposed compensation negotiated in September was approved by almost 90% of the victims. The original deal asked for $425 million in damages, but the court conditionally granted a $380 million settlement. More than 300 people were molested by Nassar, with the rest being victimized by someone connected to USA Gymnastics in some way.
The financial aspect is just a small portion of the situation. In the future, a number of nonmonetary conditions will turn the victims into stakeholders in USA Gymnastics. The terms include a dedicated position on USA Gymnastics’ Safe Sport Committee, Athlete Health and Wellness Council, and board of directors, as well as an investigation into the culture and processes that enabled abusers like Nassar to operate undetected for years.
“Survivors have bravely come up individually and collectively to fight for long-term reform in our sport,” USA Gymnastics president Li Li Leung said in a statement after the settlement was authorized. “We are dedicated to working with them, as well as the broader gymnastics community, to ensure that we continue to put our athletes’ and community’s safety, health, and welfare first.”
When Nassar worked for Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, and a Michigan club that is a USA Gymnastics member, hundreds of girls and women claim he sexually assaulted them under the cover of medical treatment.
He pled guilty to child pornography offences in federal court before pleading guilty to sexually abusing female gymnasts in state court. In 2018, he was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in jail.
The stipulations, according to Rachael Denhollander, who was the first woman to come forward in the autumn of 2016 to explain Nassar’s sexual assault, were a crucial component of the mediation process.
“It’s not about money; it’s about change,” Denhollander said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. “It’s about making an accurate evaluation of what went wrong so that the future generation is safer.”
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Denhollander has been one of Nassar’s most vocal victims since the beginning of the controversy. She said that it was critical to go beyond the legal procedures so that women may move on with their lives and receive the assistance they need.
“The truth is that the longer this goes on, the more difficult it becomes for survivors,” she added. “Without a settlement, many of these ladies would be unable to get medical treatment.” We had to strike a balance between that reality and the amount of time it took. We believed that accepting this settlement was in everyone’s best interests… so that survivors may obtain some form of justice.”
Some of the medical treatment necessary, according to Denhollander, is not covered by some forms of insurance. Part of the financial load will be relieved as a result of the settlement.
Hundreds of women spoke at an emotional sentencing hearing in Michigan almost four years ago about their experiences with Nassar and the toll it had on their lives.
USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said the organization regrets its part in “failing to safeguard these athletes, and we are sorry for the tremendous harm they have faced.” The organization is paying $34 million out of its own pocket and $73 million from insurers toward the settlement.
Denhollander called the five years and a half since she initially contacted reporters at The Indianapolis Star “hellish.”
“For all of us, it’s been agony,” she added. “To have to fight for so long for the right things to happen, to have to fight for so long for justice to be served… It shouldn’t have taken five years in the first place.”
In December 2018, USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy in order to combine the many cases brought against it. The USOPC was also obliged to pause its decertification proceedings against USA Gymnastics as a result of the action.
In the meanwhile, the business has restructured its leadership and updated its health and safety rules. The settlement will enable it to continue as the sport’s national governing body, however Denhollander believes it has not gone far enough, which is why the victims’ engagement in the future is so important.
“We need to observe what change is taking place for ourselves,” she remarked. “Being able to do that adds a degree of responsibility that hasn’t existed before.”
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(The Associated Press, Copyright 2021.) All Rights Reserved by the Author. It is forbidden to publish, broadcast, rewrite, or disseminate this content.)
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