FBI failed to investigate USA Gymnastics abuser, watchdog finds

Larry Nassar sits in court listening to statements before being sentenced by Judge Janice Cunningham for three counts of criminal sexual assault in Eaton County Circuit Court on February 5, 2018 in Charlotte, MichiganThe FBI disregarded allegations about a prolific USA Gymnastics child abuser and later made serious errors in the investigation, a watchdog has found.

The long-awaited report gave a scathing assessment of the FBI’s investigation into former team doctor Larry Nassar. He is serving an effective life sentence for molesting young gymnasts. Numerous missteps and cover-ups by FBI agents allowed his abuse to continue for months after the case was first opened, the report found. In a statement on Wednesday, the FBI acknowledged the findings, calling the handling of the Nassar file “inexcusable and a discredit to this organisation”.

“We will take all necessary steps to ensure that the failures of the employees outlined in the report do not happen again,” the agency said.

The 119-page report by the Department of Justice Inspector General found that despite the seriousness of the allegations against Nassar, the FBI field office in Indianapolis dragged its feet in responding.

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