FBI director Christopher Wray on Wednesday apologized to the gymnasts victimized by former Olympic Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar for the agency’s mishandling of the investigation into the disgraced doctor.
U.S. Gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the handling of allegations made against Nassar, who was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for his crimes. More than 160 girls and women accused Nassar of abuse.
“I am deeply and profoundly sorry to each and every one of you,” Wray said before the Senate Judiciary committee.
“I am sorry that so many people let you down over and over again and I am especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed, and that is inexcusable, it never should have happened, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure it never happens again,” he added.
Wednesday’s hearing is part of an effort to hold the FBI accountable after a Justice Department report released in July concluded that the FBI made errors and did not treat the case with “utmost seriousness.”
“Despite the extraordinarily serious nature of the allegations and the possibility that Nassar’s conduct could be continuing, senior officials in the FBI Indianapolis Field Office failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required,” the Office of Inspector General report read.
Maroney accused the agency and others in authority of sitting “idly by while dozens of girls continued to be molested by Larry Nassar.”
“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 said. “They chose to lie about what I said and protect a serial child molester rather than protect not only me but countless others.”
Biles placed blame on the entire system that created the conditions for Nassar’s abuse, including USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee who “knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge.”
“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” she said.
Nassar was charged in 2016 with federal child pornography offenses and sexual abuse charges in Michigan.
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