True Crime News Roundup: Larry Nassar Abuse Survivors Agree To $380 Million Settlement
Plus: Atlanta officials memorialize the young victims of a prolific serial killer; searchers have found multiple sets of human remains while looking for a missing geologist; and Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin pleads guilty to violating George Floyd’s civil rights.
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images
Michigan Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis (R) stands as former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar listens during impact statements during the sentencing phase in Ingham County Circuit Court on January 24, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan.
Nassar abuse survivors reach a settlement after years-long battle.
USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee have reached a $380 million settlement with the over 500 victims of sexual predator and doctor Larry Nassar and other individuals affiliated with USA Gymnastics, the Associated Press reported. “The frank reality is the longer this goes on, the more difficult it is for survivors,” Rachael Denhollander, the first person to come forward with allegations against Nassar in 2016, told the AP. “So many of these women, they can’t access medical care without a settlement. We had to balance that reality with the length of time it was taking. We felt it was in the best interest of everyone to accept this settlement … so that survivors would receive some semblance of justice.” The agreement also calls for reforms within USA Gymnastics, including a review of the organization’s practices. Nassar, 58, pleaded guilty to both child sexual abuse material crimes as well as the sexual assault of gymnasts and received sentences of 60 years for the former and between 40 to 175 years for the latter.
Atlanta officials break ground on a new memorial to honor the young victims of a prolific serial killer.
The victims of a Georgia serial killer will be memorialized over 40 years after their deaths with the Atlanta Children’s Eternal Flame Memorial, WSB-TV reported. City officials broke ground on the project located outside city hall on Dec. 15. “That lets me know that they won’t be ever forgotten,” said June Thompson, the sister of Darron Glass, who was 10 when he disappeared on his way to see a Braves baseball game in 1980. His body has never been found. According to the FBI, around 29 Black children and young adults, mostly males, were abducted and murdered between July 1979 and May 1981 in a case dubbed the Atlanta Child Murders. Wayne Bertram Williams, 63, is serving a life sentence for the 1981 killings of Jimmy Ray Payne, 21, and 27-year-old Nathaniel Cater, but he has been linked to at least 20 of the slayings.
At least two sets of human remains found in search for geologist who vanished last summer.
Searchers looking for Daniel Robinson have found multiple bones authorities don’t believe belong to the missing 24-year-old geologist who was last seen in late June driving away from a remote Arizona site. “We’re following every lead, everything,” David Robinson recently said of his attempt to piece together what happened to his son, whose overturned jeep, wallet and keys were found in the desert miles from his last known location. Jeff McGrath, a private investigator working with the Robinson family, told Rolling Stone that on July 31 they discovered a skull near the crash site, but a medical examiner determined it was too old to belong to the missing man. Neither did two human femurs, hip bones, and a vertebrae a search party recovered on Nov. 6. “There had been other bones that we suspect were human; the medical examiners reviewed them,” McGrath said. “Some of them, we haven’t received an answer on if they were or not. We just got information that it’s not Daniel.” Anyone with information related to Daniel Robinson’s disappearance is asked to contact the Buckeye Police Department tip line at 623-349-6411.
Derek Chauvin admits in court he violated George Floyd’s civil rights.
On Dec. 15, former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty to violating George Floyd’s constitutional right to be free from an unreasonable seizure or use of unreasonable force by a police officer when he knelt on the 46-year-old’s neck for over nine minutes, killing him in May 2020, The New York Times reported. At the same hearing, Chauvin additionally admitted to assaulting a 14-year-old boy in 2017. As part of a plea deal in the Floyd federal civil rights case, the government is requesting Chauvin be sentenced to 25 years behind bars. “The possibility of him getting more time and having to serve more time — that’s a good thing,” said Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams, CNN reported. “Today, he had a chance to blow kisses and give air hugs to his family. We can’t do that to our loved one who’s not here.” A jury convicted Chauvin, 45, last April of second-degree murder for Floyd’s death and he was sentenced to serve over 20 years in prison for the crime.