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Tag: Larry Nassar

Head of FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office Sought USA Gymnastics Job While Failing to Investigate Team Doctor, IG Says

W. Jay Abbott, former special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office

By Steve Neavling

W. Jay Abbott, the former special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office, mulled a potential job leading USA Gymnastics after he failed to properly investigate sexual abuse allegations against the Olympic team’s doctor Larry Nassar, The IndyStar reports.

The discovery comes a day after the Justice Department’s inspector general issued a searing 119-page report accusing Abbott and others within the FBI of mishandling the probe. Abbott, who retired in 2018, also was accused of lying to the inspector general during the internal investigation to “minimize errors made by his office.”

Abbott initially talked with then-president of USA Gymnastics Stephen Penny about a security job at the U.S. Olympic Committee in the fall of 2015, as Nassar continued to abuse young women and children. 

But when Penny resigned in March 2017 over his handling of Nassar allegations, Abbott told an unnamed friend that he was interested in Penny’s vacant job, according to the inspector general report.  

“I also believe it may be in ‘poor taste’ or ‘unprofessional’ to directly contact [the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors Chairman] regarding the position given the circumstances,” Abbott emailed the friend, according to the report. “However, I do believe that if [the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors Chairman] became aware of my availability and interest in the position that he too would see the potential benefits of my leadership to USAG.”

By pursuing the security job, Abbott violated ethics guidelines, the report stated. Abbott insisted he didn’t apply for the job, but records indicate he did. 

There’s no evidence that Abbott applied for the president’s position. 

Neither Abbott nor his attorney responded to IndyStar’s questions about the job discussions. 

FBI Bungled Sex Abuse Probe of USA Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar, IG Finds

Larry Nassar is charged with child pornography.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI mishandled the investigation into sexual abuse allegations against Larry Nassar, the disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a searing 119-page report

The FBI acknowledged the findings Wednesday and made no excuses for the blunders. 

“As the Inspector General made clear in today’s report, this should not have happened,” the bureau said in a statement. “The FBI will never lose sight of the harm that Nassar’s abuse caused. The actions and inactions of certain FBI employees described in the report are inexcusable and a discredit to this organization. The FBI has taken affirmative steps to ensure and has confirmed that those responsible for the misconduct and breach of trust no longer work FBI matters.”

The FBI added that it “will take all the necessary steps to ensure that the failures of the employees outlined in the report do not happen again.”

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the Indianapolis Field Office “failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.”

During the investigation, which began in 2015, the bureau waited five weeks to interview one of the victims and failed to notify the FBI’s Lansing office or state law enforcement.   

The report accuses W. Jay Abbot, the special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office, of lying to the inspector general during the internal investigation “to minimize errors” made by his office.

According to the report, Nassar sexually abused at least 70 young athletes between 2015 and August 2016. Nassar is effectively serving a life sentence in prison.