In a new report released by the Justice Department’s inspector general, it was revealed that the sexual abuse case against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was mishandled by the FBI. According to the report, the Indianapolis field office of the FBI didn’t properly document their investigation, agents were dishonest when probed and there wasn’t a proper response to the allegations made by Nassar’s patients.
In the report, it stated that the FBI agents didn’t respond to the allegations against Nassar “with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required” and they also “made numerous and fundamental errors when they did respond.” Furthermore, neither local nor state officials were notified about the allegations. Nassar is now a convicted sex offender after being accused of sexually abusing over 150 underaged athletes between July 2015 to August 2016, including Simone Biles.
According to the report, “The Indianapolis office did not formally document any of its investigative activity, including its July meeting with USA Gymnastics and its September 2 telephonic interview of one of the victim gymnasts. The office also did not formally open an investigation or assessment of the matter.”
If the Indianapolis field office would have responded urgently and quickly, it could have prevented more young girls from being abused by Nassar.
The report also revealed that former FBI agent Jay Abbott, was dishonest when probed by the inspector general’s office regarding allegations against Nassar. It was stated that he lied “to minimize errors made by the Indianapolis Field Office in connection with the handling of the Nassar allegations.” Abbott also inquired about employment with the U.S. Olympic Committee during conversations with Steve Penny, president and chief executive of U.S.A. Gymnastics at the time, which violated FBI policy. Abbott also told the inspector general he wasn’t seeking job opportunities with the U.S. Olympic Committee even though he applied twice.
“This is a devastating indictment of the F.B.I. and the Department of Justice that multiple federal agents covered up Nassar’s abuse and child molestation,” John Manly, a lawyer for many of Nassar’s victims, told the New York Times. “They’ve failed these women. They’ve failed these families. No one seems to give a damn about these little girls.”
Abbott retired from the FBI in 2018.