Sports

Justice Dept. Won’t Prosecute Ex-F.B.I. Agents Accused of Mishandling Nassar Case

WASHINGTON — Two former F.B.I. brokers accused of bungling the bureau’s investigation of Lawrence G. Nassar, the previous physician for U.S.A. Gymnastics who was convicted on state intercourse abuse and federal baby pornography prices, won’t be prosecuted, the Justice Department stated on Thursday.

The resolution ends a assessment the division initiated in October, months after its inspector common issued a scathing report that sharply criticized the F.B.I.’s dealing with of the case, which was delivered to the bureau’s Indianapolis office in July 2015.

The F.B.I.’s failure to behave on the knowledge it acquired allowed Mr. Nassar to assault extra women. Hundreds of feminine sufferers, together with many members of the U.S. ladies’s Olympic gymnastics groups, say he abused them below the guise of medical remedy.

The former brokers, W. Jay Abbott, who was in cost of the bureau’s Indianapolis discipline office, and Michael Langeman, who labored in that office, had been accused by the Justice Department’s watchdog of making false statements when it reviewed the matter.

“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 reflect approval or disregard of the conduct of the former agents,” the division stated in a statement, including that the choice mirrored the steerage of skilled prosecutors.

Even because the Justice Department acknowledged that the brokers appeared to have made false statements, it stated that prosecutors didn’t have sufficient proof to carry legal prices.

Mr. Nassar’s victims and their representatives excoriated the choice.

“The continued failure by the Department of Justice to criminally charge the F.B.I. agents, U.S.A. Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials who conspired to cover up the largest sex abuse scandal in the history of sport is incomprehensible,” stated John C. Manly, a lawyer who represented some of the survivors.

Last summer season, the Justice Department’s inspector common, Michael E. Horowitz, accused Mr. Abbott of giving false statements to his investigators quite a few instances when requested concerning the Nassar case, “to minimize errors made by the Indianapolis field office in connection with the handling of the Nassar allegations.”

He additionally stated that Mr. Abbott violated F.B.I. coverage by discussing potential job alternatives with U.S.A. Gymnastics on the similar time that he spoke to the group concerning the allegations towards Mr. Nassar.

Mr. Abbott retired from the F.B.I. in 2018, three years earlier than the inspector common accomplished his report. Mr. Langeman was fired quickly after the report was launched. But the Justice Department selected to not prosecute both man.

Mr. Nassar’s victims, their households and members of Congress had been outraged by the inspector common’s findings and the Justice Department’s resolution to not discover whether or not the F.B.I. brokers ought to be criminally charged on suspicion of mendacity to investigators.

Three months later, the deputy lawyer common, Lisa O. Monaco, instructed Congress that new info had come to mild, prompting her to have the pinnacle of the division’s legal division assessment the matter.

“I want the survivors to understand how exceptionally seriously we take this issue and believe that this deserves a thorough and full review,” Ms. Monaco stated final October.

The victims “were promised action” by Ms. Monaco, Mr. Manly stated. “There was no action for more than six months and now this promise to survivors has been broken.”

The F.B.I. met in 2015 with a number of gymnasts who accused Mr. Nassar of abuse, together with McKayla Maroney, an Olympic gold medalist who detailed these allegations in a three-hour interview. She testified earlier than Congress that the F.B.I. responded to her account by saying, “Is that all?”

“Not only did the F.B.I. not report my abuse, but when they eventually documented my report 17 months later, they made entirely false claims about what I said,” Ms. Maroney stated. “They chose to lie about what I said and protect a serial child molester.”

Mr. Nassar continued to sexually assault scores of women after Ms. Maroney spoke with the F.B.I. and was charged by the State of Michigan in 2017. He is serving what quantities to life in jail.

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