Criminal probe opened into FBI’s handling of Larry Nassar abuse allegations

Former US gymnastics team doctor serving 175 years in prison for abusing young women in his care

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 05 October 2021 22:52

We have been failed’: Simone Biles testifies about FBI’s Larry Nassar investigation

A criminal probe has been launched into the FBI’s handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse investigation.

The Justice Department’s criminal division will look into its decision to not charge FBI agents involved in the investigation after female gymnasts testified before Congress that federal law enforcement had failed to act on complaints made against the doctor.

Nassar, the former US gymnastics team doctor, is serving 175 years in prison for sexually abusing young women in his care, as well as child pornography.

In September Simone Biles, Mckayla Maroney and Aly Raisman told the Senate Judiciary Committee how the FBI had failed to act after the Olympic athletes reported their experiences with Nassar.

The new probe was revealed by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco when she testified before the same committee on Tuesday.

She was asked why the Justice Department had not prosecuted two agents in the case who allegedly lied to the inspector general about why they had not pursued claims against Nassar.

“I can inform the committee today that the recently confirmed assistant attorney general for the criminal decision is currently reviewing this matter, including new information that has come to light,” Ms Monaco said.

“I am constrained in what more I can say about it, but I do want the committee and, frankly, I want the survivors to understand how exceptionally seriously we take this issue and believe this deserves a thorough and fair review.”

The IG report stated that although gymnasts made sexual assault allegations against Nassar to the FBI in 2015, he continued to treat athletes at Michigan State University, a high school and a gymnastics club until September 2016.

Nassar eventually pleaded guilty to abusing 10 of the more than 265 patients who told authorities they had been molested by him.

One of the Indianapolis field office agents named in the IG report, Michael Langeman, was fired by the FBI last month, and his boss, Jay Abbott, retired in 2018.

The Inspector General had recommended both men be prosecuted, but the DOJ had declined.

Olympic gold medalist Biles, told the committee last month that the FBI had “turned a blind eye to us” when she and other athletes complained about Nasssar.

“We have been failed, and we deserve answers. Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable,” she said.