Former Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles along with McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman testify before the the Senate Judiciary Committee on the FBI’s investigation of USA Gymnastics Team Physician Dr. Larry Nassar. YouTube Tips ⓘ
U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee; and Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) dereliction of duty in the Larry Nassar case, which enabled the continued abuse of dozens of victims. James Comey, Jr. was Director of the FBI when whistleblower gymnastics coach first reported Nassar to the USA Gymnastics (USAG) on June 17, 2015. Nassar was initially charged with sexual assault of a child in November 2016. The FBI seized over 37,000 images and videos of child pornography from Nassar’s home in December 2016, and he was indicted on federal child pornography charges.
“The FBI’s failure in this case led to more athletes being victimized. This Committee has the responsibility of oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation—and will hold a hearing to examine this injustice and to prevent future, similar tragedies,” Durbin said.
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) September 15, 2021
"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," McKayla Maroney says on the FBI's handling of the Larry Nassar investigation.
"They had legal, legitimate evidence of child abuse and did nothing." pic.twitter.com/0sDHdLMj4E
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 15, 2021
WATCH LIVE: Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman will testify at a Senate hearing about the FBI's mishandling of sexual abuse allegations against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. https://t.co/frKSdjKGWv
— NPR (@NPR) September 15, 2021
“Since revelations surfaced of Larry Nassar’s exploitation of young athletes in 2017 and the FBI’s failures to properly investigate, I’ve aggressively worked to uncover how these crimes were allowed to happen for so long, and strengthen protections for young athletes to prevent terrible crimes from occurring in the future. The IG report confirms my fears that the FBI dropped the ball, allowing abuses to continue for months. The Judiciary Committee’s upcoming hearing is a continuation of our oversight to get to the bottom of this. The FBI owes the American people an accounting for its failure to protect these children, and explanation for how it plans to do better in the future,” Grassley said.
“The FBI’s failure to investigate Larry Nassar allowed at least 70 young women to be assaulted by him. No one should have to endure the horrors these young women suffered through,” said Feinstein. “I want thank the inspector general for his review and hope this hearing will provide the survivors with more answers and ensure that claims of assault and demands for help won’t be ignored in the future.”
“The FBI’s gross mishandling of the reports of Nasser’s abuse led to more athletes suffering unimaginable pain. There must be accountability for this chilling failure to properly investigate—and false statements potentially intended to cover-up that failure,” said Blumenthal. “Director Wray must answer to the Judiciary Committee and the American people for the findings of this report, immediately terminate the agent involved, and explain in detail what steps are being taken to guarantee this never happens again.”
After news of the abuse broke in 2017, the Judiciary Committee under then-Chair Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein convened the first congressional hearing and advanced legislation to protect young athletes from sexual abuse. In a 2018 letter, Committee leaders pressed the FBI for details on its handling of the Nassar investigation.
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) September 15, 2021
Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney, using the #MeToo hashtag on Twitter, posted that Nassar had repeatedly molested her from 2008, starting when she was 13 years old until she retired from the sport eight years later in 2016. Maroney subsequently filed a lawsuit against Larry Nassar, Michigan State University, the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics. The lawsuit accused USA Gymnastics of covering up the sexual abuse by requiring her to sign a non-disclosure agreement in her $1.25 million settlement. Maroney’s attorney John Manly called Nassar a “paedophile doctor.”
United States of America Gymnastics (USA Gymnastics) is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Established in 1963 as the U.S. Gymnastics Federation (USGF), USA Gymnastics is responsible for selecting and training national teams for the Olympic Games and World Championships. The mission of USA Gymnastics is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of gymnastics.
Larry Nassar for 18 years was the team doctor of the United States women’s national gymnastics team, which gave him access to hundreds of girls and young women whom he sexually abused. Larry Nassar was an osteopathic physician and former professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.
The USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal was significantly exposed in 2015 when the extent of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of young girls and women and the subsequent cover-up was revealed. Nassar repeatedly sexually assaulted at least 265 underage girls and young women under the guise of medical treatment. His victims included numerous Olympic and United States women’s national gymnastics team gymnasts.
Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on December 7, 2017 after pleading guilty to child pornography and tampering with evidence charges on July 11, 2017. On January 24, 2018, Nassar was sentenced to an additional 40 to 175 years in Michigan State prison after pleading guilty in Ingham County (County Seat: Mason Michigan, Largest City: Lansing) to seven counts of sexual assault of minors. On February 5, 2018, he was sentenced to an additional 40 to 125 years in Michigan State prison after pleading guilty to an additional three counts of sexual assault in Eaton County (County Seat and Largest City: Charlotte, Michigan). The Eaton County sentence runs concurrently with the Ingham County sentence.
On the orders of the judge in charge of the federal case, Nassar’s state prison sentences are to run consecutively with his federal sentence, amounting to a sentence of de facto life imprisonment without parole
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McKayla Maroney Tweet from October 2017 …
— mckayla (@McKaylaMaroney) October 18, 2017
SEPTEMBER 15, 2021
JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING
Good morning. Thank you Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Grassley, and Members of the Judiciary Committee for inviting me to speak today.
As most of you are probably aware, I was molested by the USA Gymnastics National Team, and Olympic Team doctor, Larry Nassar. In actuality, he turned out to be more of a pedophile than he was a doctor, as I was molested hundreds of times in my bed, including the night before competing in the Olympic Games in London. I’m not here to talk about that though, but what I do need to talk to you about is unfortunately for me, something equally disturbing, and I can’t even believe I am here having to speak up about it. Recently I found out that when I reported the abuse that I had endured to the FBI, that there were certain FBI agents who chose to falsify what I said and conceal Nassar’s crimes from the public, the media, other law enforcement agencies, and most importantly, other victims. After reading the Office of the Inspector General’s (“OIG”) report, I felt completely betrayed because when I disclosed my abuse to those whom I believed were trusted to protect the public, they chose to lie about what I said, they chose to silence me and attempted to discredit me. They chose to protect a serial child molester, rather than protect not only me but countless others. What I’m trying to bring to your attention today is that sworn law enforcement agents multiple times made “materially false statements”, in the OIG report and it was directly attributed to me.
My story is one in which Special Agent In-Charge, Jay Abbott, and his subordinates, did not want you to hear. From my earliest memories, I always wanted to be a gymnast. I wanted to represent my country, and I wanted to make my parents proud. My mother, who served in the United States Navy, instilled the importance of patriotism and sacrifice in me. More than anything, I wanted to one day win medals for Team USA. My entire family sacrificed time, money, family vacations, and a normal childhood, for me to achieve this goal. In 2012, I achieved my dream and I won a Gold and Silver Medal in London not only for myself but for my country. The sad truth is that during the pinnacle of my success as a gymnast, I was being molested by my team doctor, Larry Nassar. The abuse occurred daily at the Karolyi Ranch, as well as at international competitions, including World Championships and Olympic Games. In the summer of 2015, I was asked to speak with the FBI about Nassar’s abuse. I remember sitting on my bedroom floor for nearly three hours, as I told them what had happened to me over the phone. I hadn’t even told my own mother about these facts, and it was the most uncomfortable conversation I had ever had in my life, but I thought as uncomfortable as it was, I was making a difference, and hopefully protecting others from the same abuse. I answered all of their questions honestly, and I disclosed all of the molestations I had endured by Nassar to them, in detail. I thought and trusted that they would act quickly for the sake of other girls. I waited, and I waited and heard nothing. They betrayed me, they betrayed my trust, and they sat idly by, as dozens of girls and women continued to be molested by Larry Nassar. According to the OIG Report, about 17 months after I disclosed my abuse to FBI agents (nearly a year and a half later), the FBI agent who interviewed me in 2015, decided to write down my “statement”; a statement that the OIG Report determined to be “materially false.”
Years after waiting for this report, and waiting to see Nassar’s mug shot in the news, these sworn-in law enforcement officers lied about what I said, and they fabricated a statement that wasn’t even the truth. I ask what is the point of me telling the truth about what happened when they lie about what I said? I spent three hours telling them my story, and they didn’t even have the integrity or moral character to make a statement, and when they finally get around to writing a report, over a year and a half later, they wrote up a statement that was completely inaccurate, and misleading. It wasn’t even close to the truth! Let’s be honest, by not taking immediate action from my report, they allowed a child molester to go free for more than a year, and this inaction directly allowed Nassar’s abuse to continue. This all doesn’t even make sense. 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. They had legal legitimate evidence of child abuse, and did nothing. Who are they trying to protect? What’s even more upsetting to me, is that we know that these FBI agents have committed an obvious crime, they falsified MY statement and that in itself is illegal, yet no recourse is being taken against them. Nothing! 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! The Department of Justice refused to prosecute these individuals. Why? They haven’t even had any discipline imposed, and in my opinion, this is not ok! Why did I bother speaking up when I did, when no one with any authority was going to do anything about it for over a year? Why are they not being investigated? It’s wrong, and it’s a slap in MY face! To not indict these agents, is a disservice to me and my teammates. It is a disservice to the system which was built to protect all of us from abuse. It is a disservice to every victim who suffered needlessly at the hands of Larry Nassar after I spoke up! Why are public servants whose job is to protect, getting away with this? This is not justice. This is more injustice! Enough is enough! I want justice!
Today I ask you all to hear my voice. I ask that you please do all that is in your power to ensure that these individuals are held responsible, and accountable for ignoring my initial report, for lying about my initial report, and for covering up for a child molester, and for endangering others. In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to the United States Senate, the only powerful institution that from the very beginning, has fought for us, rather than against us.