(PatriotWise.com)- On Wednesday the Justice Department’s Inspector General released a scathing report chronicling the critical errors made by the FBI in its handling of the sexual abuse allegations against former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar who sexually abused female athletes for years.
In 2018, Nassar was sentenced to over one hundred years in prison for sexual abuse and child pornography.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz accused the FBI of failing to respond to the allegations with the “utmost seriousness and urgency” such sexual abuse allegations require.
According to Horowitz’s report, the FBI’s Indianapolis field office first learned of the allegations in July 2015 when USA Gymnastics conducted an internal investigation of the matter. But the FBI didn’t open an investigation in Michigan (where Nassar lived and worked) until October 2016. It wasn’t until USA Gymnastics filed a complaint in Los Angeles after months of inaction in Indianapolis that the FBI took action.
And as the FBI dragged its heels, Nassar went on to sexually abuse additional athletes.
Horowitz also accused the FBI of failing to “formerly document” the initial meeting when the allegations were first brought to the Indianapolis field office. What’s more, the field office didn’t properly handle or document receipt of a thumb drive turned over to its possession by USA Gymnastics President Stephen Penny.
The FBI also failed to properly document an interview with one of Nassar’s victims. It also failed to reach out to the other accusers who were known at the time. Nor did the FBI inform other relevant law enforcement agencies about the accusations against Nassar.
Good grief. Was there anything they did right?!
To make matters worse, Horowitz claims that W. Jay Abbott, the agent in charge of the Indianapolis field office “made materially false statements” when he was interviewed by the IG – specifically Abbot lied and claimed he shared information about the allegations against Nassar to officials in the FBI field offices in Detroit and Los Angeles.
The IG report concludes that Abbott violated FBI policy when he communicated with USA Gymnastics’ President Stephen Penny about a potential job opportunity with the US Olympic Committee while continuing to discuss the Nassar allegations.
In September 2020, the Department of Justice declined to prosecute W. Jay Abbott for any of these egregious missteps and false statements. So, great work AG Barr!
In response to the IG report’s release, the FBI issued a statement acknowledging the mistakes cited in the report, calling certain FBI employees’ actions and inactions “inexcusable and a discredit to this organization.”
Inexcusable yes. But for this FBI, hardly surprising.