Welcome to live updates from the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Larry Nassar abuse scandal. Here is some background from Reuters:
Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles and Aly Raisman will testify Wednesday about the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of disgraced US gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, as the US Senate examines why the FBI did not investigate their crimes earlier.
Biles and Raisman will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee along with former Olympic teammate McKayla Maroney and former gymnast Maggie Nichols, who was the first victim to report the abuse to USA Gymnastics.
The hearing comes after Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz in July issued a scathing report which criticized the FBI for botching her investigation into a series of mistakes that allowed the abuse to continue for months.
Horowitz will also testify Wednesday, as will FBI Director Chris Wray, who is expected to face sharp bipartisan questioning about why the agents who screwed up the investigation were never prosecuted for their misconduct.
The FBI investigation into Nassar began in July 2015, after USA Gymnastics President and CEO Stephen Penny reported the allegations to the FBI Indianapolis field office and provided agents with the names of three victims who they wanted to be interviewed.
That office, then headed by special agent in charge, W Jay Abbott, did not formally open an investigation. The FBI only interviewed one witness months later, in September 2015, and did not formally document that interview in an official report known as “302” until February 2017, long after the FBI arrested Nassar on charges of possession of images. sexually explicit of children. in December 2016.
When the interview was finally documented in 2017 by an anonymous supervisory special agent, the report was littered with “materially false information and materially omitted information,” the Horowitz report determined.
The office also did not share the allegations with state or local law enforcement agencies.
“The children suffered unnecessarily because several agents in various FBI offices refused to share Nassar’s allegations with their law enforcement counterparts in state and local agencies,” senior Republican Charles Grassley said in prepared remarks.
“Disturbingly, the abuse occurred at the hands of someone who was entrusted with his medical treatment and welfare,” he added.
Horowitz also said that Abbott, who retired from the FBI in 2018, also violated the FBI’s conflict of interest policy by discussing a possible job with the US Olympic Committee while he was involved in the Nassar investigation.
Neither Abbott nor the other unidentified supervisory special agent who botched Nassar’s investigation were prosecuted for their actions.
The FBI previously called Abbott’s behavior “appalling” and said the supervising special agent remains with the FBI but is no longer a supervisor and “is not working on any more FBI business.”
An attorney for Abbott said earlier in a statement that he is grateful to prosecutors for bringing Nassar to justice.
Nassar, who had been the Olympic gymnasts’ chief physician, was sentenced in federal court in 2017 to 60 years in prison on charges of possession of child sexual abuse material.
The following year, he was also sentenced to 175 years and up to 125 years, respectively, in two separate Michigan courts for sexually abusing the gymnasts in his care. Prosecutors have estimated that he sexually assaulted hundreds of women.
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