WASHINGTON, 15 September (Hfrance.fr) - Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles and Aly Raisman appeared on Wednesday to testify 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 his crimes earlier.
Biles and Raisman appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee alongside their former Olympic teammate McKayla Maroney and former gymnast Maggie Nichols, who was the first victim to report the abuse to USA Gymnastics.
Hearing comes after the Inspector General of the Ministry of Justice Michael Horowitz in July published a scathing report that blasted the FBI for botching its investigation in a series of e rrors that allowed the abuse to continue for months.
Horowitz will also testify on Wednesday, as will FBI Director Chris Wray, who is expected to face sharp bipartisan questions about why the agents who botched the investigation were never prosecuted for their misconduct.
The chairman of the judicial committee of the Senate Dick Durbin said the failures of the FBI "shocked the conscience.
The Inspector General 's findings "portray a shocking image of the FBI 's dereliction of duty and blatant incompetence, "he said.
The FBI ' s investigation into Nassar began in July 2015, after USA Gymnastics President and CEO Stephen Penny areported the allegations to the FBI field office in Indianapolis and provided officers with the names of three victims willing to be interviewed.
This office, then headed by the Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abbott, has not officially opened an investigation. The FBI interviewed only 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 for possessing sexually explicit images. children in December 2016.
When the interview was finally documented in 2017 by an anonymous surveillance special agent, the report was filled with "materially false information and omitted important information, the Horowitz report determined.
The office also failed to share the allegationswith state or local law enforcement agencies.
"The children suffered needlessly because multiple officers in multiple offices FBI neglected to share Nassar's allegations with their law enforcement counterparts in state and local agencies, "Republican rankings Charles Grassley said in prepared remarks.
"Disturbingly, the abuse occurred at the hands of a person who was entrusted with their medical treatment and well-being, ", a he added.
Horowitz also said that Abbott, who retired from the FBI in 2018, also violated FBI policy in matters of conflict of interest by discussing possible employment with the US Olympic Committee while he was involved in the Nassar investigation.
Neither Abbott nor the other special agent on duty.ance who botched the Nassar investigation were not prosecuted for their actions.
The FBI previously called Abbott 's behavior as "appalling " and stated that the special supervisory agent remains with the FBI but is no longer a supervisor and "no longer works on FBI matters.
An Abbott lawyer previously said in a statement he was grateful to prosecutors for bringing Nassar to justice.
Nassar, who had been the principal doctor of the Olympic gymnasts, was sentenced by a federal court in 2017 to 60 years in prison for possession of child pornography.
The following year, he was also sentenced to 175 years and up to 125 years, respectively, in two separate Michigan courts for assaulting female gymnasts in his care. Prosecutors have thstimulated that he had sexually assaulted hundreds of women. Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Scott Malone and Lisa Shumaker
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