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Simone Biles, U.S. Gymnasts Call to Prosecute FBI Agents over Failures in Larry Nassar Case

Larry Nassar (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, and other gymnasts have called to prosecute the FBI agents who oversaw an investigation into former U.S.A. Gymnastics team doctor and convicted pedophile Larry Nassar.

Gymnasts accused FBI agents of dragging their feet on the investigation, during which time Nassar remained the team doctor. Nassar pleaded guilty on November 22, 2017 to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving girls age 15 and under, along with an additional three counts with girls age 16 and under on November 29, 2017. Earlier that year, Nasser pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.

McKayla Maroney, who has accused Nassar of molesting her from age 13 up until her retirement from gymnastics in 2016, alleged that the FBI and U.S.A. Gymnastics tried to “cover up” the accusations against Nassar.

“The truth is, my abuse was enough and they wanted to cover it up. USA Gymnastics in concert with the FBI and the Olympic Committee were working together to conceal that Larry Nassar was a predator,” Maroney told senators at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

“These individuals clearly violated policies and were negligent in executing their duties, and in doing so, more girls were abused by Larry Nassar for over a year,” Maroney told senators. “To not indict these agents is a disservice to me and my teammates, a disservice to the system which is built to protect all of us from abuse.”

Simone Biles blamed the FBI and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee for failing to address the allegations against Nassar.

“We suffered and continue to suffer because no one at FBI, or U.S. A.G., or U.S.O.P.C. did what was necessary to protect us,” Biles said. “Nassar is where he belongs but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable….It truly feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us and went out of its way to protect U.S. A.G. and U.S.O.P.C.”

Aly Raisman, another star gymnast who has accused Nassar of abuse, said that after she first requested to be interviewed by the FBI, it took agents “over 14 months” to contact her.

“Given our abuser’s unfettered access to children, stopping him should have been a priority. Instead, the following occurred: The FBI failed to interview pertinent parties in a timely manner,” Raisman said. “It took over 14 months for the FBI to contact me despite my many requests to be interviewed by them.”

A Justice Department inspector general report released on July 14 stated that FBI agents in the agency’s Indianapolis field office who received complaints of abuse failed to respond to the allegations “with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.” The report notes that Nassar allegedly abused over 70 additional athletes from July 2015, when the field office first received complaints against Nassar, to August 2016, just before the accusations were revealed by the Indianapolis Star.

The report also found that the head of the field office, W. Jay Abbott, lied to the inspector general’s office “to minimize errors made by the Indianapolis Field Office in connection with the handling of the Nassar allegations.” Abbott also spoke with former U.S.A. Gymnastics president Steve Penny regarding “a potential job opportunity with the U.S. Olympic Committee,” the report states.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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