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Tag: Larry Nassar

FBI Open to Settling Lawsuits by Larry Nassar’s Survivors

Larry Nassar is charged with child pornography.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has indicated that it’s open to settling lawsuits over the bureau’s mishandling of an investigation into sexual abuse by disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. 

The bureau’s general counsel contacted attorneys representing the victims to say the FBI was “interested” in reaching a resolution in the lawsuits that are seeking more than $1 billion, the Associated Press reports.

More than 90 victims filed the lawsuit in June. 

Attorneys from both sides of the lawsuit declined to comment. 

An inspector general report in July 2021 found that the FBI failed to properly investigate the allegations. The bureau, for example, waited five weeks to interview one of the victims and failed to notify the FBI’s Lansing office or state law enforcement.

The report also accused W. Jay Abbot, the then-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. 

In May, the Justice Department said it decided it won’t pursue charges against two FBI agents for mishandling the investigation.

Larry Nassar’s Survivors Sue FBI for Mishandling Sexual Abuse Investigation

Larry Nassar is charged with child pornography.

By Steve Neavling

More than 90 women who say they were were sexually abused by the disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar have filed lawsuits against the FBI for mishandling the investigation. 

The women are seeking more than $1 billion from the bureau, The Washington Post reports

“My fellow survivors and I were betrayed by every institution that was supposed to protect us — the U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S.A. Gymnastics, the F.B.I. and now the Department of Justice,” Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney said in a statement. “It is clear that the only path to justice and healing is through the legal process,” she added.

An inspector general report in July 2021 found that the FBI failed to properly investigate the allegations. The bureau, for example, waited five weeks to interview one of the victims and failed to notify the FBI’s Lansing office or state law enforcement.

The report also accused W. Jay Abbot, the then-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. 

Last month, the Justice Department said it decided it won’t pursue charges against two FBI agents for mishandling the investigation.

DOJ Won’t Charge FBI Agents for Mishandling Probe of Larry Nassar

Larry Nassar is charged with child pornography.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department has decided it won’t pursue charges against two FBI agents for mishandling the sex-abuse investigation into Larry Nassar, the disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor. 

In a statement Thursday, the DOJ said it “is adhering to its prior decision not to bring federal criminal charges” after a “careful re-review” of the allegations against the agents.

“This does not in any way reflect a view that the investigation of Nassar was handled as it should have been, nor in any way reflect approval or disregard of the conduct of the former agents,” the Justice Department said. “While the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General has outlined serious concerns about the former agents’ conduct during the Nassar investigation, and also described how evidence shows that during interviews in the years after the events in question both former agents appear to have provided inaccurate or incomplete information to investigators, the Principles of Federal Prosecution require more to bring a federal criminal case.”

The review comes about 10 months after the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded in a searing 119-page report that the FBI mishandled the investigation.

Horowitz also found that W. Jay Abbot, special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office, lied to investigators about the botched investigation and his personal conflicts in the case. 

Abbott retired in January 2018, and Agent Michael Langeman was fired for his role in the investigation. 

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. 

In September, FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized for the bureau’s “totally unacceptable” fails in the Nassar case.

“I’m sorry that so many people let you down again and again,” Wray said to the victims while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I am especially sorry that there were people at the F.B.I. who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed, and that is inexcusable. It never should have happened, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure it never happens again.”

13 Nassar Victims Seek $130M in Claims from FBI over Mishandled Investigation

Larry Nassar is charged with child pornography.

By Steve Neavling

Thirteen sexual abuse survivors of disgraced former USA Gymnastic team doctor Larry Nassar are each seeking $10 million from the FBI, alleging that Nassar continued to abuse victims because agents mishandled the investigation, lawyers said Thursday.

“This is the largest failure on the part of law enforcement in the history of the world as it pertains to the protection of children, and there must be institutional accountability to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” attorney Jamie White said in a statement, Reuters reports.

The Justice Department’s inspector general concluded in July 2021 that the bureau bungled the investigation, and the FBI acknowledged the findings and made no excuse for the blunders. 

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

The report accused W. Jay Abbot, the former 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. 

DOJ Reviewing Decision to Not Prosecute FBI Agents Who Botched Handling of Nassar Probe

Larry Nassar is charged with child pornography.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department is reviewing its previous decision not to prosecute former FBI agents who mishandled the investigation into sexual abuse allegations against disgraced gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. 

Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco made the announcement Tuesday while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She said Kenneth Polite, the head of the DOJ’s criminal division, “is currently reviewing this matter, including new information that has come to light,” The New York Times reports.

The review comes nearly three months after the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded in a searing 119-page report that the FBI mishandled the investigation.

Horowitz also found that W. Jay Abbot, special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office, lied to investigators about the botched investigation and his personal conflicts in the case. 

Abbott retired in January 2018, and Agent Michael Langeman was fired for his role in the investigation. 

“I want the survivors to understand how exceptionally seriously we take this issue and believe that this deserves a thorough and full review,”  Monaco said at the hearing.

Sen. Grassley Urges Attorney General to Appoint Federal Investigator to Review Botched Nassar Case

Sen. Chuck Grassley

By Steve Neavling

Sen. Chuck Grassley is calling on a federal investigation into the FBI’s mishandling of the Larry Nassar case.

Grassley, the top member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Attorney General Merrick Garland should appoint a federal prosecutor or special counsel to examine the botched investigation and potentially pursue criminal charges. 

“Nassar abused hundreds of young athletes while FBI sat on its thumb,” Grassley said in a written statement Friday. “DOJ refused to attend the Judiciary Committee hearing this week to face questions. Attorney General Garland should assign a federal prosecutor or special counsel to uncover what the FBI knew and when, as well as to seek prosecutions of those involved in the cover-up. These brave gymnasts and all Nassar survivors deserve accountability, especially from the Justice Department.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday heard testimony from U.S. gymnasts and FBI Director Christopher Wray, who apologized for the bureau’s handling of the case.

Two months earlier, the Justice Department’s Inspector General concluded that the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office “failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.”

In the meantime, Grassley and his colleagues are working on legislation that would strengthen a federal “child sex tourist” statute that the inspector general said was inadequate. 

FBI Agent Who Bungled Sex-Abuse Allegations Against Nassar Is Fired

Larry Nassar is charged with child pornography.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has fired an agent accused of failing to properly investigate sexual abuse allegations against USA disgraced Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. 

The termination of Michael Langeman, who was a supervisory special agent at the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office, comes two months after the Justice Department’s Inspector General found that the FBI mishandled the case.

Langeman was fired last week, The Washington Post reports

In 2015, Langeman interviewed gymnast McKayla Maroney, who said she was sexually abused by Nassar. 

In his report, Inspector General Michael Horowitz accused Langeman and his former boss, Jay Abbott, of mishandling the case and then lying to inspector general investigators about it. 

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.   

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. 

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray is scheduled to testify about the Nassar case today before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

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.