The DOJ announced on Thursday that no charges will be brought against the FBI Agents who disregarded the Larry Nassar sexual abuse accusations coming from America’s top gymnasts. Nassar was later convicted of crimes that might not have happened if the agents addressed the issue when first notified.
NPR reported on Thursday night:
The Justice Department is closing its review of two former FBI agents who botched the investigation into Larry Nassar, the doctor who sexually assaulted dozens of girls and women, including some of the nation’s most prominent gymnasts.
In an unsigned statement late Thursday, the department said it had decided not to bring charges against the former special agents at the FBI after receiving a recommendation from experienced federal prosecutors who sifted through evidence and analyzed the issues. One of them is Kenneth Polite, the assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division who brought fresh eyes to the issues, in part because he was not involved in earlier decisions in the matter.
“While the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General has outlined serious concerns about the former agents’ conduct during the Nassar investigation, and also described how evidence shows that during interviews in the years after the events in question both former agents appear to have provided inaccurate or incomplete information to investigators, the Principles of Federal Prosecution require more to bring a federal criminal case,” the Justice Department said in a written statement.
“I am deeply sorry that, in this case, the victims did not receive the response or the protection that they deserved,” Monaco testified at the time.
Four elite gymnasts offered wrenching and vivid testimony of their own at a Senate hearing last September. McKayla Maroney spoke of sharing her story of abuse with the FBI in grueling detail, only to hear silence on the other end of the phone.
One gold medalist abused by Nassar was Ali Raisman.
New to the senior level of gymnastics at the time, Raisman said she wasn’t “taught” to question abusive behavior or the fact that she was examined alone by Nassar. However, Raisman noted that Nassar gained her trust by grooming her: “He would always bring me desserts or gifts, he would buy me little things, so I really thought he was a nice person, I really thought he was looking out for me. … I want people to know, just because someone is nice to you … it does not make it okay for them to ever make you uncomfortable.”
The gymnast didn’t go into further detail about Nassar’s abuse. However, per Time’s reporting on the experiences of Raisman and other gymnasts, Nassar “rarely used gloves” during appointments and the sexual abuse was performed under the guise of fake medical treatments. Raisman decided to go public with her story to help create change for future gymnasts.
Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40-175 years in prison for criminal sexual conduct on January 24, 2018. At the sentencing hearing, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina allowed any of the 100+ athletes who had accused Nassar of abuse over the years to address him and the court, if they desired. Aly Raisman elected to speak, but she struggled with the decision — noting that it was only watching the testimony of fellow “brave survivors” (via Time) that made her realize she needed to address Nassar, too.
“Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force and you are nothing,” Raisman’s powerful remarks began. Calling Nassar a “monster” who took advantage of everyone’s trust, she said, “I am also here to tell you to your face, Larry, that you have not taken gymnastics away from me.” A large portion of her statement admonished the USA Gymnastics organization and the U.S. Olympic committee for allegedly enabling Nassar’s abuse for years after women came forward with allegations. She asked for change within a sport that was “rotting from the inside” and requested that Nassar be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
The horrible part about this is that numerous young ladies were abused by Nassar after the FBI was first made aware of the case. How many lives could have been protected if the FBI just did its job? The victims are not suing Chris Wray and the corrupt FBI for $130 million for its response to the serial sex offender.