Olympic gymnasts have spoken out about how the FBI mishandled the Larry Nassar investigation, with some calling for a new investigation.
The what did larry nassar do to mckayla is a question that has been asked by many people. In this article, we will be exploring the Olympians Simone Biles, Aly Raisman among star gymnasts who say the FBI badly mishandled the Larry Nassar investigation.
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WASHINGTON, DC – Past Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles and Aly Raisman were among those who spoke before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning, saying that current and former FBI agents should be held responsible for botching the investigation into Larry Nassar, Team USA’s disgraced former doctor.
According to a recent report released by the Department of Justice’s inspector general, FBI agents failed to act with the “seriousness and haste” needed after first receiving allegations of Nassar’s abuse in the summer of 2015. Agents mismanaged evidence, according to the study, and then gave misleading statements to investigators about their errors.
“It really seems like the FBI turned a blind eye to us,” Biles said at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, adding that agents should be punished on a federal level to be held completely responsible. Several senators joined Biles in questioning the DOJ’s decision not to seek criminal charges against the agents. A Justice Department official rejected an invitation to address questions directly at the hearing on Wednesday, according to the senators.
After her first complaint of Nassar’s sexual assaults to USAG in June 2015, Raisman said it took FBI investigators over fourteen months to contact her. Nassar continued to visit patients for more than a year while the first complaint to the FBI lingered. During that time, many of young women and girls claim Nassar sexually abused them.
“Why would legally sworn officials disregard cross-state allegations of abuse?” Senators were questioned by Raisman on Wednesday.
Former Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney and former World and NCAA Champion Maggie Nichols, who first brought Nassar’s conduct to the notice of USA Gymnastics authorities in June 2015, testified alongside Biles and Raisman.
“They (the FBI) enabled a child molester to roam free for more than a year by failing to act on my complaint. They had legal proof of child abuse but did nothing about it “Maroney took the stand on Wednesday.
The four gymnasts, all of whom claim Nassar sexually abused them while on the national team, spoke before the Senate committee on Wednesday, as did Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
“The sorts of basic mistakes that occurred in 2015 and 2016 should never have happened,” Wray said, acknowledging that agents had betrayed the public’s confidence. Wray told senators that the agency was changing its procedures to ensure that a single point of failure in the future would not derail an investigation. When the FBI first got allegations about Nassar in 2015, he was not in charge.
Wray apologized to the gymnasts, saying, “I’m sincerely and terribly sorry.” “…I’m particularly sad that individuals at the FBI had their opportunity to stop this monster in 2015, but they failed. It should never have occurred. And we’re doing all we can to prevent that from happening again.”
The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General issued a damning report in July, condemning the conduct of several FBI agents involved in the Nassar investigation. Between July 2015, when the first report about Nassar was made to the FBI field office in Indianapolis, and September 2016, when Nassar was fired by his full-time employer, Michigan State University, after a police report accusing him of sexual assault during a medical examination was filed with MSU police, OIG investigators estimate that up to 70 girls and young women were sexually assaulted by Nassar.
Senator Dick Durbin (D) of Illinois stated on Wednesday that the FBI’s handling of the Larry Nassar case is a “stain on the agency” and that the investigation into Nassar was plagued by “neglect, inactivity, and terrible ineptitude.” Agents “doctored documents and lied to the media in an attempt to conceal their failure of duty,” according to Durbin.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) went even farther, claiming that FBI agents made “material false statements” to OIG inspectors in order to “cover up.”
“The FBI’s failure to act had genuine human repercussions,” Blumenthal added, “and it will forever be a stain on the FBI’s image.”
The FBI dismissed former supervisory special agent Michael Langeman, who worked in the Indianapolis field office, on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post.
In 2015, Langeman spoke with former gold medalist McKayla Maroney about Nassar’s alleged sexual assaults during treatment sessions. According to the OIG investigation, Langeman neglected to follow up on Maroney’s accusations against Nassar and misled to investigators about the Indianapolis field office’s failures to act quickly, according to the Post.
Maroney told a Senate committee on Wednesday that “they decided to falsify my report and downplay my abuse.”
W. Jay Abbott, the former Special Agent in Charge in Indianapolis, who accepted the first complaint regarding Nassar from former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny in July 2015, received a lot of flak in the Inspector General’s July report.
Abbott met privately with Penny, not to discuss the investigation, but to discuss a possible job, Justice Department investigators discovered, while his field office was investigating allegations that Nassar had sexually assaulted some of the country’s most famous gymnasts during medical appointments. In October 2015, three months after Penny initially supplied the FBI with information about Nassar, the two men met at a bar in Indianapolis to discuss Abbott’s possible employment as a security officer for the US Olympic Committee when he retired from the FBI.
Abbott exhibited “very poor judgment” in his connection with Penny, engaged in an obvious conflict of interest, and subsequently “made false claims” to OIG investigators about applying for the USOC security position “despite strong evidence to the contrary,” according to investigators.
Abbott left the FBI in January 2018, a month after Nassar pleaded guilty to child pornography crimes in federal court.
Penny was charged with criminal evidence tampering in October 2018 after reportedly ordering the removal of papers from the legendary Karolyi ranch outside Huntsville, Texas. His lawsuit is still in the works. Penny’s lawyers previously told ESPN that any claims that he was attempting to win favor with Abbott by assisting him in finding a post-retirement position with the US government were false. The International Olympic Committee is “absurd.”
“Steve’s sole request of Agent Abbott or anybody at the FBI was that they investigate Nassar quickly and completely,” the lawyers stated.
Nassar is still in federal jail, receiving a 60-year term for child pornography crimes stemming from evidence discovered on his premises in September 2016. In 2018, he pled guilty in Michigan state court to 10 charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, resulting in a sentence of 175 years in prison.
Biles also demanded that USA Gymnastics and the USOPC authorities be held responsible. “This is the biggest instance of sexual assault in American sport’s history, and despite an independent review into the FBI’s handling of the matter, neither USAG nor the USOPC have ever been held to the same standard,” Biles stated.
Aly Raisman, a member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team, was among those who said that the FBI mishandled the Larry Nassar investigation. Reference: aly raisman.
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