FBI Issues Rare Apology To Nassar Abuse Survivors
Survivors of sexual abuse by former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar got a rare apology from the FBI this week.
Former gymnast Aly Raisman was among four athletes testifying before a U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday, September 15, about the agency's handling of the case. Raisman says the FBI stalled for a year after the allegations went public, allowing Nassar to abuse a hundred more young women.
"And it disgusts me that we are still fighting for the most basic answers and accountability over six years later."
Raisman says it took more than a year before an FBI agent interviewed her about the case. And she says that agent was biased because he was seeking a job with the U.S. Olympic Committee at the time.
"I felt pressured by the FBI to consent to Nassar's plea deal. The agent diminished the significance of my abuse. It made me feel my criminal case wasn't worth pursuing."
U.S. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles also testified. Afterwards, FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized for the way the Bureau mishandled the case. The Bureau's inspector general has said its Indianapolis office failed to notify the Lansing office, as well as state and local authorities. Wray says the agent involved violated protocol.
"I don't have a good explanation for you," Wray testified. "It is utterly jarring to me, it is totally inconsistent with what we train our people on, totally inconsistent with what I see from the hundreds of agents who work these cases every day, and that's why that individual has been fired."
Wray says the bureau is strengthening communications between field offices and making sure reports are handled promptly.