Team USA gymnasts revealed the details of the abuse they suffered at the hands of team doctor Larry Nassar, and claimed that the FBI failed to act on their reports and may have helped cover up evidence.
Simone Biles, Maggie Nichols, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney tearfully testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, regarding the FBI’s mismanagement of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case, which resulted the recent firing of supervising agent Michael Langeman.
Raisman said that in the fourteen months it took the FBI to respond to her abuse report to USA Gymnastics (USAG), Nassar was able to sexually assault dozens of young gymnasts.
According to a July report by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General, Langeman and his direct supervisor, Jay Abbott, didn’t officially open an investigation until September 2016, despite interviewing Maroney about her sexual abuse allegations in July 2015.
“After telling my entire story of abuse to the FBI in the summer of 2015, not only did the FBI not report my abuse, but when they eventually documented my report 17 months later, they made entirely false claims about what I said,” Maroney commented.
“After reading the Office of Inspector General’s OIG report, I was shocked and deeply disappointed at this narrative they chose to fabricate,” she continued. “They chose to lie about what I said and protect a serial child molester rather than protect not only me, but countless others.”
.@McKaylaMaroney: "After telling my entire story of abuse to the @FBI in the summer of 2015, not only did the FBI not report my abuse, but when they eventually documented my report, 17 months later, they made up entirely false claims about what I said." pic.twitter.com/CC7Wpvg27U
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 15, 2021
Furthermore, the report accuses now retired Abbott of ordering the FBI to release false statements that his office “expeditiously responded” to the young women’s accusations. He also tried to parlay his mishandling of the case into a job with the Olympic Committee, which he failed to secure.
Biles said that the trauma she endured at the hands of Nassar is one of factors in her decision to drop out of theTokyo Olympics.
“We have been failed and we deserve answers. Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable…” she stated. “In reviewing the OIG’s report, it truly feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us and went out of its way to help protect USAG and USOPC (United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee).”
"I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse."
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) September 15, 2021