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DOJ reviewing earlier decision not to charge FBI agents in botched Larry Nassar sexual abuse case 

The Department of Justice confirmed that it is reviewing its earlier decision not to charge the FBI agents who botched the investigation into former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar’s extensive sexual abuse. 

Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco announced the rare move at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. 

Monaco informed the committee that the new head of the criminal division, Kenneth Polite, ‘is currently reviewing this matter, including new information that has come to light.’ She did not share what new information had been discovered.

‘The survivors who testified so bravely deserve better than they got from the FBI and the Justice Department,’ Monaco said at the hearing. ‘There is a sense of urgency and gravity for the work that needs to be done.’

Gymnasts Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 15 to discuss the FBI’s failed investigation into Nassar’s abuse. 

The Department of Justice is reviewing its decision not to charge FBI agents who botched Larry Nasar’s sexual abuse investigation nearly a month after (L-R) Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols testified about the failed investigation 

Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco announced the rare move at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday

Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco announced the rare move at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday 

Biles, Maroney, Raisman, and Nichols (L-R) are some of the 330 women who have accused disgraced Team USA physician Larry Nasar of sexual abuse under the guise of medical treatments

Biles, Maroney, Raisman, and Nichols (L-R) are some of the 330 women who have accused disgraced Team USA physician Larry Nasar of sexual abuse under the guise of medical treatments 

Nassar was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to life in prison in 2018 for several counts of criminal sexual conduct and child pornography charges

Nassar was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to life in prison in 2018 for several counts of criminal sexual conduct and child pornography charges

More than 330 girls and women have said they were victimized by Nassar as he used his position as a Team USA physician to abuse them under the guise of medical treatments for nearly 20 years. 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., described the FBI’s mishandling of the case as ‘a stain’ on the agency.

‘The FBI failed them,’ Durbin said Tuesday, referring to Nassar’s many victims. ‘Our government failed them; we failed them.’

And some lawmakers condemned Monaco for the DOJ’s failure to send a representative to last month’s hearing. 

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said the move showed a ‘profound disrespect’ for the many victims. ‘You are about three weeks too late,’ Cornyn said.

Nassar was arrested by the FBI on charges of possessing sexually explicit images of children in December 2016 and sentenced to life in prison in February 2018 for criminal sexual conduct and child pornography charges. But the FBI had been made aware of his sexual abuse in back 2015.  

Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that the FBI's field office in Indianapolis 'failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required' after they were made aware of the abuse in 2015

Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that the FBI’s field office in Indianapolis ‘failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required’ after they were made aware of the abuse in 2015

The DOJ Inspector General report found that Field Office Special Agent in Charge (SAC) W. Jay Abbott (pictured) failed to follow up on allegations and then applied to a job with USA Gymnastics during the probe

The DOJ Inspector General report found that Field Office Special Agent in Charge (SAC) W. Jay Abbott (pictured) failed to follow up on allegations and then applied to a job with USA Gymnastics during the probe

A damning report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found numerous serious errors in the FBI’s investigation into the allegations made against Nasar in 2015. The mishandled investigation allowed Nasar to find 120 new victims and continue his abuse for another 17 months. 

The two FBI officers accused of mishandling the many sexual abuse claims made against Nassar allegedly made false statements, lied to the inspector general’s office, and tampered with evidence. 

In a scathing 119-page report, Horowitz said the FBI’s field office in Indianapolis ‘failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.’

In particular, the report singles out Indianapolis Field Office Special Agent in Charge (SAC) W. Jay Abbott, saying he lied to cover up the investigative mistakes and missteps. 

‘Abbott made materially false statements during his OIG interviews to minimize errors made by the Indianapolis Field Office in connection with the handling of the Nassar allegations,’ inspector general stated.

The inspector general writes that even after investigators first learned of possible criminal conduct by Nassar, Abbott submitted a resume in search of a job as chief security officer with USA Gymnastics, a violation of bureau ethics.

Abbott was not chosen for the position and has since retired from the FBI. 

It has also been revealed that former Agent Michael Langeman, who is not named in the report, allegedly lied to the inspector general’s office in interviews in 2020 and 2021 regarding the botched investigation, according to Horowitz’s report.  

Biles said in her testimony last month she was failed by the FBI, USA Gymnastics (USAG) and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) in their handling of Nassar's abuse

Biles said in her testimony last month she was failed by the FBI, USA Gymnastics (USAG) and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) in their handling of Nassar’s abuse

Raisman told the Senate Judiciary Committee last month that authorities knew of at least six victims in 2015 but continued to serve 'innocent children up to a pedophile on a platter'

Raisman told the Senate Judiciary Committee last month that authorities knew of at least six victims in 2015 but continued to serve ‘innocent children up to a pedophile on a platter’

McKayla Maroney testified on September 15 saying she spoke to FBI agents for three hours in the summer of 2015 telling them her 'entire story of abuse' but they failed to take action

McKayla Maroney testified on September 15 saying she spoke to FBI agents for three hours in the summer of 2015 telling them her ‘entire story of abuse’ but they failed to take action

Maggie Nichols told the Senate Judiciary Committee in September that - six years on from reporting the abuse in 2015 - she is still waiting for answers

Maggie Nichols told the Senate Judiciary Committee in September that – six years on from reporting the abuse in 2015 – she is still waiting for answers

Langeman worked as a supervisory special agent (SSA) in the FBI’s Indianapolis office and interviewed victim McKayla Maroney when she came forward with allegations in 2015.

He failed to properly document his interview with Maroney and did not take action for 17 months, the report revealed.

He was fired after the report was published.  

The report by Horowitz goes on to say: ‘The actions and inactions of the FBI employees described in the Report are inexcusable and a discredit to this organization and the values we hold dear.

‘At the FBI, we consider our mission to protect and serve the American people to be the highest responsibility.

‘The conduct and facts in the Report are appalling, and we appreciate your continued efforts to examine it and recommend further improvements and safeguards.’ 

John Manly, a lawyer representing many of the athletes and women who were abused by Nassar, said that Monaco’s announcement was ‘long overdue and necessary to give survivors justice and closure.’

He spoke on behalf of the gymnasts saying, ‘The victims have waited years for justice…It is time.’


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