The Justice Department has refused to bring charges against the FBI agents who botched the investigation into disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. It is the third time that prosecutors have reviewed the case after an inspector general report detailed the agents' failings.
The report found that the agents received complaints that Nassar was sexually assaulting female gymnasts in 2015 but did not open a formal investigation or notify authorities in Michigan about the allegations. They were also accused of lying to investigators. It wasn't until 2016 that the FBI began investigating the claims, which ultimately led to the arrest and conviction of Nassar on numerous charges of sexual assault and child pornography. He was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison and also received an additional 40 to 175 years imprisonment in Michigan.
Officials said that over 70 athletes were sexually abused between the time the FBI received the complaints and the investigation was opened.
John Manly, an attorney representing the victims, blasted the Justice Department for refusing to hold the agents accountable for their failures in the case.
"The continued failure by the Department of Justice to criminally charge the FBI agents, USA Gymnastics, and USOPC officials who conspired to cover up the largest sex abuse scandal in the history of sport is incomprehensible," Manly said. "On September 13, 2021, gymnasts Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and Maggie Nichols shared heart-wrenching testimony with the Judiciary Committee, pleaded for justice, and were promised action by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. There was no action for more than six months, and now this promise to survivors has been broken."
The Justice Department defended the decision not to bring charges against the agents because there wasn't sufficient evidence to secure a conviction.
"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 reflects approval or disregard of the conduct of the former agents," the department said.