DETROIT (WXYZ) — Survivors of disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar said it wasn't just Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics that let them down, it was also the FBI.
"They had a chance to stop a monster and they didn't," said Samantha Roy.
Roy is one of about 90 women who filed claims against the FBI Wednesday for the bureau's "mishandling of credible complaints of sexual assaults by Nassar received by the agency in July 2015," their attorneys said in a statement.
Collectively, the tort claims are seeking about $1 billion dollars.
"This has been years of trauma in all of our lives, and years of healing and years to come," said Vani Bhatia, a survivor who is also speaking for the first time for the girls and women whose voices can't be heard.
As to what may have led to the FBI's failures, already acknowledged by the FBI's current Director Christopher Wray in September, attorney Michael Pitt believes it boils down to gender bias.
"There is pervasive bias against women in our society. And you can't overlook the fact that these men who were charged with a duty to protect these women failed, in part, because they viewed these women as expendable or not as important as men or they should be able to deal with this type of abuse on their own."
Nassar's assaults on Erin Blair began when she was just 11-years-old. She's now 21 and said the trauma of Nassar's abuse has left her feeling isolated and alone.
"It's just extremely frustrating because if just a few people had done their job and held people accountable, we wouldn't be feeling this way or we would have had a little more time to heal," Blair said. "I think people don't understand that until every single person who acted in a way that led us to feel this was is held accountable, we don't get to heal. We don't get to heal properly or live a normal life that's been taken from us for years and years."
Alyssa Corn said it's important for her to speak up for women who have to heal in silence
"We're fighting for them," Corn said. "I don't want other people to have their childhoods taken away like mine.
The FBI declined to comment Wednesday, instead referring us to Wray's remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2021.
Click on the video to hear more from the women and attorneys.