Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a scathing report last week on the FBI’s failure to properly investigate extensive sex-abuse allegations against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. During a three-year internal review, FBI officials gave misleading or false answers when confronted about those failures.
Horowitz notes that, according to civil court filings, about 70 women and girls were abused by Nassar between the time when the FBI was first told of the allegations in July 2015 and when Michigan officials finally arrested him on the basis of separate information in November 2016. Nassar has been accused of sexual abuse by more than 330 girls and women — including Olympians Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Simone Biles.
Rachael Denhollander was the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual abuse. The 36-year-old, abused by Nassar as a teenage gymnast, wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post that the inspector general’s report shows how difficult the road can be for survivors. She discusses what steps the FBI, USA Gymnastics, Congress and others should take to rectify past wrongs and to prevent anything like this from happening in the future.
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