Newsmax is reporting that the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has reached a settlement in which it will pay approximately $100 million to the 100 women or girls who were sexually assaulted by the former USA national women’s gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar.

Included as claimants in the settlement are elite gymnasts Simone Biles, McKaya Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols, who were identified as victims in 2015.

The settlement follows evidence that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) failed to properly respond to multiple complaints alleging sexual abuse of USA women gymnasts by Dr. Larry Nassar.  Dozens of gymnasts under the care of Nassar were sexually assaulted for more that a year after the FBI was alerted to the allegations of abuse.

The DOJ settlement closes the books on the legal claims against a host of agencies that failed to properly respond to complaints about Nassar, bringing the total value of legal payouts to almost $1 billion.

The Newsmax article may be read in full HERE.

My brothers and sisters, this situation is incredibly sad and should never had been allowed to impact so many women and girls.

Over the years it became clear that the once-trusted team doctor, Larry Nassar, was actually a predator and pedophile, who was taking advantage of girls and young women who didn’t know or couldn’t be sure when the line was crossed into abuse.

As a former federal law enforcement agent, this writer appreciates the FBI’s need to ascertain proper legal jurisdiction when receiving complaints, the testing of allegations, and the need to collect evidence sufficient to support a criminal conviction at the standard of “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” before calling in suspect(s) and making the allegations public.

That said, when the allegations are serious, sexual in nature, and directly affect the long term physical, mental and emotional well being of others, sitting on a complaint or delaying investigative actions and notifications for the purpose of evidence collection, or for other reasons, becomes less appropriate – if not inappropriate.  In this case, it is a shame that the FBI, despite the incredible training and experience of its investigators, effectively sat on this case while additional gymnasts were being abused.

A large part of what makes this matter so difficult is that medical doctors are by default supposed to be highly trained, trustworthy, competent and compassionate.  This case tends to stain and bring increasing speculation upon the overwhelming majority of medical professionals who are genuinely compassionate and competent.  It creates suspicion where none was considered necessary in the past.  Our nation continues to become a nation of persons who trust no one, for any reason.

I’m not suggesting that more oversight and surveillance is a bad thing, but this situation shows that the evil one has infiltrated our society to the point that NODBODY seems to be above suspicion any longer.  As Christians, we are called to the “ministry of reconciliation”  (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-19).  We are not called to the “ministry of suspicion.”

Sadly, FGGAM regularly reports on crimes or substantial moral failings of pastors and others in the ministry!  We should remember that Satan, the evil one, the great deceiver, desires for even the elect to fall from grace and to walk in sin (see Revelation 12:9 and Ephesians 2:1-3).  He hates you.  He hates me.  Worse, he hates God.  The evil one exists to steal, kill and destroy (see John 10:10), and to effect counterfeit things of God!

For our part, let’s seek the wisdom and grace of God in all of our relationships, without presuming the worst and praying for the best, as we listen to the voice of our conscience, the Holy Spirit.  As I’ve said many times, the Truth is a Person and His name is Jesus (see John 14:6).  The most important thing any of us will ever do is to name Jesus as Lord, which brings salvation and the promise of eternal life in the very presence of God Almighty (see John 3:16-17 and Acts 4:12)!

Here are the above referenced scriptures:

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (NKJV)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

Revelation 12:9 (NKJV)
“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

Ephesians 2:1-3 (NKJV)
By Grace Through Faith
“And you He [Jesus] made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [emphasis mine], the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

John 10:10 (NKJV)
“The thief [Satan] does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

John 14:6 (NKJV)
“Jesus said to [Thomas], ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”

John 3:16-17 (NKJV)
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Acts 4:12 (Amplified Bible)
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].”

Praise Jesus forevermore!

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