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"We suffer and continue to suffer": Olympic gymnasts denounce in the Senate the decisions of the FBI in the case of sexual abuse


"I blame Larry Nassar, but also a whole system that allowed him to perpetrate his abuse," said Simone Biles along with three other world champions. The FBI has fired an agent for failing to investigate his allegations.

By Teaganne Finn - NBC News

Olympic champion Simone Biles told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the impact of the abuses suffered by Larry Nassar, the former doctor of the Federation of Gymnastics (USAG, for its acronym in English), are "something that never forget".

"We suffer and continue to suffer because no one in the FBI or in other organizations did what was necessary to protect us. We deserve answers," claimed the gymnast, who had to stop her statement several times due to the emotion when remembering the episodes lived with Nassar.

"I blame Larry Nassar, but also a whole system that allowed him to perpetrate his abuse," he denounced, "they have failed us."

The former doctor was convicted of sexual abuse of hundreds of girls and women, but the Senate is now investigating the extent to which the FBI failed to investigate the abuse allegations.

The Senate Judiciary Committee addresses the issue in two hearings: the first on the FBI's handling of the investigation into Lawrence Gerard Nassar, better known as Larry Nassar;

and the second with the inspector general of the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz;

and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Biles, 24, along with her colleagues McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman, criticized that the federal authorities did nothing to stop Nassar, despite having been questioned about the facts.

They have all needed years of therapy to be able to speak publicly about this.

[Father of victims tries to assault Larry Nassar]

"Nassar is where he should be, but people like him must respond because otherwise this will continue to happen in Olympic sport. The FBI ignored us, as did the USAG. If a predator is allowed to injure minors , the message has to be: 'The consequences will be severe,' warned the best gimasta of all time. 

Simone Biles during the warm-up prior to the balance beam final at the Tokyo Olympics in Japan on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021.AP Photo / Ashley Landis

In the same vein, Raisman, one of the stars of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, testified. "The FBI made me feel that my case did not deserve attention. My complaints were buried by the Olympic authorities and federal authorities," he said. .

The FBI, under the magnifying glass

The Justice Department inspector general noted in a 119-page report published in July that the FBI failed to timely interview victims who reported that Nassar had abused them.

In it he harshly criticized agent Michael Langeman and his superior, Jay Abbott, saying they had not responded to the gymnasts' accusations that they had been sexually abused by Nassar "with the urgency required by the accusations."

The FBI field office in Indianapolis also made "fundamental mistakes," he explained, by failing to notify other FBI offices or state or local authorities.

The FBI fired Langeman last week, accused of failing to properly investigate Nassar and of lying about it afterward, according to The Washington Post.

Langeman interviewed gymnast McKayla Maroney in 2015 about Nassar's alleged abuse.

Biles revealed on January 18 that Nassar abused her.

"I am no longer afraid to tell my story. I am also one of the many survivors who were sexually abused by Larry Nassar," she wrote on Twitter.

In an interview with NBC's Today show, Biles stated that the abuse was likely a factor affecting his mental health and his performance at this year's Olympics in Tokyo, where he withdrew from various tests.

[Resignation of the USA Gymnastics board due to the abusive doctor scandal]

"Now that I think about it, maybe in the back of my head, probably, yes, because there are certain triggers," he said.

Nassar was sentenced in January 2018 for sexual abuse of 40 to 175 years in prison, a sentence that was added to the other 60 that he was already serving in prison for crimes of child pornography.

He is expected to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2021-09-15

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