The US Justice Department’s internal watchdog has condemned the FBI for stalling over the investigation of sexual abuse allegations it received in 2015 against disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, and accused two FBI officials of lying to investigators to cover up their mistakes.
- Former US Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nasser was convicted of abusing more than 150 female gymnasts in his care
- But the FBI dragged its feet over the case, with investigators failing to interview some victims, a report has found
- Two FBI officials lied to cover up their errors, however the US Justice Department has decided not to charge them
In a scathing 119-page report, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the FBI’s field office in Indianapolis “failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.”
Among the numerous missteps included waiting five weeks before conducting a phone interview with one of the victim athletes, while failing to interview other victims, the report found.
Mr Horowitz also said two FBI officials, including the office’s now-retired special agent in charge, W Jay Abbott, lied during their interviews to cover up their errors.
However, the Justice Department has declined to prosecute them, the report added.
Nassar was sentenced in federal court in 2017 to 60 years in prison on charges of possessing child sex abuse material.
The following year, he was also sentenced up to 175 years and up to 125 years, respectively, in two separate Michigan courts for molesting young female gymnasts under his care including Olympic gold medallists Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.
The inspector general’s investigation was launched in 2018 amid concerns that the FBI dragged its feet in opening a sexual abuse probe into Nassar despite receiving multiple complaints about him.