(ReliableNews.org) – Ever since the Indy Star published a bombshell investigation in 2016 outlining years of sexual abuse in USA Gymnastics, the young girls on the team were able to formally accuse Team USA’s doctor, Larry Nassar, of abusing them for years. This situation has finally led them to testify in the U.S. Senate on September 15 of this year.
In the years following those allegations, hundreds of current and former gymnasts accused him of abuse. Prosecutors filed more charges against him, with police charging him with sexual misconduct on a child under 13. Eventually, a jury found him guilty, and Michigan Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced him to 175 years in prison.
However, many of his victims say the abuse went on far longer than it should have because the FBI failed to do its job. Those accusations have now led to one agent’s termination.
On Wednesday, September 15, former and current USA gymnasts testified before the Senate about the FBI’s failure to keep them safe. Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles broke down in tears while speaking to lawmakers. She said that while she blames Nassar for abusing her, she also blames “an entire system that enabled and perpetuated his abuse.”
Gold Medalist McKayla Maroney told the Senate that she reported the abuse to the FBI in 2015, but the agent blew her off. For three hours, she described the horrific abuse Nassar inflicted on her. When she finished telling her story, the agent asked, “Is that all”?
Maroney said the FBI failed to report her abuse, and when they finally documented it 17 months later, “they made entirely false claims” about what she described.
Full opening statement: At Senate hearing, McKayla Maroney describes reporting abuse by Larry Nassar "in extreme detail" to the FBI in 2015:
“What is the point of reporting abuse if our own FBI agents are going to take it upon themselves to bury that report in a drawer?" pic.twitter.com/TOjUSgVx9R
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 15, 2021
FBI Finally Takes Action
One day before the women testified in front of the Senate, FBI Director Christopher Wray announced he’d recently fired Michael Langeman, a supervisory special agent at the Indianapolis Field Office. The director said his decision came after he read a report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that outlined the complete failure of the agent to do his job.
John Manly, who represents many of Nassar’s victims, said the firing was “long overdue” and wondered if the announcement’s timing had to do with the Senate hearing. He went on to say everyone involved in the “plot by the FBI, USA Gymnastics, and the Olympic committee” to stop the Nassar investigation should face charges.
While it’s great that the FBI is holding someone responsible, when will the agency plan to take action on the rest of the people involved? When will the gymnasts, the individuals that have represented the United States of America proudly across the globe, receive the justice they deserve?
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