FBI sued for botching US Gymnastics sexual assault investigation? Ouch...that does sound good.
You know there was a time when the Bureau didn't...err...screw the pooch. Err....after J Edgar but before...Well, I'm not exactly sure about the timing but...
Efrem Zimbalist was on the force.
Larry Nassar Survivors Seeking $130 Million From FBI for Bungling Investigation
BY MADELINE COLEMAN, Sports Illustrated
Thirteen women who were sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar have filed federal torts claims against the FBI on Wednesday, seeking $10 million each for a total of $130 million, for its bungled investigation.
This is to hold the FBI responsible for the assaults that occurred after 2015.
“To know the FBI could have helped to avoid this trauma—it disgusts me, and it hurts me,” Nassar survivor Grace French said during a Thursday press conference.
The federal law enforcement agency had received multiple reports of abuse by the former Michigan State sports doctor years before he was arrested. The Department of Justice launched an investigation that concluded last year, and it found that errors were made when the FBI was made aware of the accounts in 2015. Specifically, two FBI agents in Indianapolis committed “fundamental errors” for not acting sooner on the allegations of abuse against the doctor.
Nassar was not arrested until December 2016. FBI agents discovered more than 37,000 child pornography images and tapes, one of which included the doctor himself, on computer discs he had attempted to discard.
The DOJ’s report confirmed that then USAG president Steve Penny reported abuse allegations from three different gymnasts to the Indianapolis FBI field office. Although USA Gymnastics is based in Indianapolis, the federal law enforcement agency and the USAO office determined they did not have jurisdiction.
However, as Michigan Radio’s Kate Wells highlighted, the FBI field office spoke to only one of the three gymnasts who came forward, and Indianapolis FBI told Penny that the case would be sent to the Michigan FBI office. However, it never was.
Penny and the FBI did not notify MSU, Michigan police or USAG athletes about the allegations in 2015. Several months went by, and USA Gymnastics reported the same concerns to the L.A. office in ’16. That office then called Indy, which claimed that it already sent the file to Lansing; however, there’s “no evidence that such a document had been sent.”
Although the report focused heavily on the Indianapolis field office, it was not the only one found at fault. Failures were pointed out in three other agency divisions—Detroit, Los Angeles and Portland, Maine. The L.A. field office opened a “federal sexual tourism” probe; however, it failed to notify local or state police despite evidence showing that Nassar violated state law.
The office “did not take any action to mitigate the risk to gymnasts that Nassar continued to treat.”
The former doctor was sentenced to 60 years on child pornography charges and then up to 175 years after pleading guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct.