The U.S. Department of Justice has agreed to pay nearly $139 million to victims of former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, settling legal claims brought over the department's failure to adequately investigate allegations that could have brought the convicted child molester to justice sooner and prevented dozens of assaults.

Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer announced the settlement on Tuesday, stating, "For decades, Lawrence Nassar abused his position, betraying the trust of those under his care and medical supervision while skirting accountability. These allegations should have been taken seriously from the outset."

The settlement, which amounts to $138.7 million, resolves 139 legal claims made against the FBI over its handling of the Nassar case. The announcement brings the total sum paid out by institutions to Nassar's victims to nearly $1 billion, with Michigan State agreeing to pay $500 million to more than 330 victims in 2018 and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee agreeing to pay $380 million to hundreds of Nassar's victims in 2021.


A 2021 Justice Department inspector general's report found that FBI agents in both the Indianapolis and Los Angeles field offices failed to adequately respond to allegations against Nassar raised in 2015 and 2016. More than 70 girls and women later alleged in court filings that Nassar assaulted them between 2015 and when he was arrested in November 2016.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz's scathing report detailed a delayed investigation marred by a series of dangerous missteps, including allegations being initially disregarded and officials lying and making "materially false statements" about the work done in the case. When the Los Angeles FBI office eventually began to investigate, it failed to notify other offices and local law enforcement, allowing Nassar to continue abusing victims.

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray publicly apologized to Nassar's victims, and the bureau fired an agent in the Indianapolis office involved with the Nassar case.

Nassar, 60, is currently serving an effective life sentence for federal convictions relating to possession of child pornography, as well as state convictions for sexual assaults of patients under his care. The prolific abuses occurred over a span of more than a decade at international sporting events, including the Olympics, as well as at Michigan State University, where Nassar worked, and at local gymnastics centers in Michigan and around the country.

"While these settlements won't undo the harm Nassar inflicted, our hope is that they will help give the victims of his crimes some of the critical support they need to continue healing," Mizer said in a statement.