100s of girls and women sexually abused
Chris Wray’s Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a statement today in reference to being caught in mishandling of sexual abuse of athletes by former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar.
At least 40 girls and women said they were molested over a 14-month period while the FBI was aware of other sexual abuse allegations involving Nassar.
Nassar was eventually charged in 2016 with federal child porn offenses and sexual abuse charges in Michigan.
He is now serving decades in prison after hundreds of girls and women said he sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment when he worked for Michigan State and Indiana-based USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.
The Office of the Inspector General released a report Wednesday of the FBI’s missteps in their investigation, including not following up on allegations of abuse by the athletes.
The FBI made “fundamental errors” in its handling of the investigation into former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar, the report states.
According to the report, the FBI waited over a year to take any significant action, allowing Nassar to continue to abusing more victims.
“The DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that senior officials in the FBI Indianapolis Field Office failed to respond to allegations of sexual abuse of athletes by former USA Gymnastics physician Lawrence Gerard Nassar with the urgency that the allegations required,” the report reads.
The FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office “made fundamental errors when it did respond to the allegations, failed to notify the appropriate FBI field office… or state or local authorities of the allegations, and failed to take other steps to mitigate the ongoing threat posed by Nassar.”
FBI agents and officials violated their own policies, and two officers were said to have made false statements to “minimize errors made by the Indianapolis Field Office.”
“The actions and inactions of certain FBI employees described in the report are inexcusable and a discredit to this organization,” the FBI stated, in what victims deemed a “flimsy attempt of apology for their corruption and cover-ups.”
“The FBI has taken affirmative steps to ensure and has confirmed that those responsible for the misconduct and breach of trust no longer work FBI matters,” the FBI press released noted.
“The FBI is fully committed to implementing all of the recommendations made by the inspector general,” the statement continues. “We will take all necessary steps to ensure that the failures of the employees outlined in the report do not happen again.”
Dallas attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel, who represents some of USA Gymnastics plaintiffs said in an email statement that the information has been difficult for her clients.
“The depth of the failures is sadly not a surprise to us, or the women we represent,” Tuegel said. “We have continued in our efforts to hold the initial organizations and individuals who failed each our clients accountable. Our work here is not complete.”
Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who has worked with several Nassar survivors to get justice, slammed the FBI in a statement.
“I’m so disturbed by the findings in this report. The FBI’s own Inspector General found that the FBI not only failed to act quickly to investigate allegations against Nassar, but showed extremely poor judgment and violated FBI policies even when the agency did begin an investigation.”
“This kind of government failure is unacceptable. I’ll be requesting a private briefing to understand how these failures were able to occur and, more importantly, the steps the Bureau is preparing to take to ensure nothing like this can ever happen again.”