Did the FBI mishandle Larry Nassar’s case? His victims speak out
We all know abuse of power should never be ignored. Just yesterday, four elite gymnasts testified about the abuse they encountered at the hands of the former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. His victims gave vivid and emotional testimonies at the Senate hearing. What probably garnered the most attention was talk of complete betrayal by investigators from the FBI which they say let them down.
Through her tears, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles tearfully said she blames Nassar along with “an entire system that allowed his abuse,” and that includes USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Biles testified, saying that “the impact of this man’s abuse will never be over.” McKayla Maroney added that Nassar, “turned out to be more of a pedophile than he was a doctor.”
She remembers sitting on her bedroom floor a few years ago, and talking to the FBI over the phone. She reminisced about her past, remembering “all of my molestations in extreme detail.” After describing her abuse by Larry Nassar, including before her winning the team gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012, she said, “I cried and there was just silence” from the FBI agent.
According to Maroney, the FBI then falsified her statement, adding that the agents involved deserve to be indicted and criticized Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco for not showing up at the hearing. “I’m tired of waiting for people to do the right thing,” said McKayla. There’s a chance there’s been as many as one hundred twenty athletes who may have been abused by Larry Nassar.
Will we hear from more victims? Only time will tell.
FBI investigators made Aly feel her “abuse didn’t count.” Aly Raisman was a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. In the midst of the investigation, she said the victims of the doctor’s abuse have “been treated like adversaries.”
She was very clear on the fact that all she and the other gymnasts want “is when a child goes to gymnastics or goes to school or does anything that they can be spared abuse.” Raisman added to the panel, “We’ve been victim-shamed online over and over again.” Investigators made her feel her abuse didn’t count. She even talked about sitting with an FBI agent, as he was trying to convince Aly that the abuse wasn’t that bad.
It took Aly years of going through therapy to realize her abuse was bad, and it mattered. “All we needed was for one adult to do the right thing.”
The FBI director Christopher Wray testified after the gymnasts, stating the “kinds of fundamental errors that were made in this case in 2015 and 2016 should have never happened, period.” He added to the gymnasts that he’s “deeply and profoundly sorry that so many people let you down over and over again.”
The senators on the panel had some questions for the victims such as whether they knew other athletes who were victims as well, but they all showed their support and praised their courage for moving forward. Senator Ted Cruz stated, “The system failed you. That system needs to change. That system needs to be held accountable so this doesn’t happen again.”
In an opening statement made by the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Durbin refers to the FBI’s handling of the case “a stain on the bureau.”
According to Durbin, FBI officials blew off their responsibility while Larry Nassar abused at least seventy young athletes. For many of the victims, their abuse was a continuation. But for others, they were abused for the first time while some of the highest authorities merely sat on the case.
At least some of Larry Nassar’s victims are refusing to stay silent. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!