By Steve Neavling
The FBI mishandled the investigation into sexual abuse allegations against Larry Nassar, the disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a searing 119-page report.
The FBI acknowledged the findings Wednesday and made no excuses for the blunders.
“As the Inspector General made clear in today’s report, this should not have happened,” the bureau said in a statement. “The FBI will never lose sight of the harm that Nassar’s abuse caused. The actions and inactions of certain FBI employees described in the report are inexcusable and a discredit to this organization. The FBI has taken affirmative steps to ensure and has confirmed that those responsible for the misconduct and breach of trust no longer work FBI matters.”
The FBI added that it “will take all the necessary steps to ensure that the failures of the employees outlined in the report do not happen again.”
Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the Indianapolis Field Office “failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.”
During the investigation, which began in 2015, the bureau waited five weeks to interview one of the victims and failed to notify the FBI’s Lansing office or state law enforcement.
The report accuses W. Jay Abbot, the special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office, of lying to the inspector general during the internal investigation “to minimize errors” made by his office.
According to the report, Nassar sexually abused at least 70 young athletes between 2015 and August 2016. Nassar is effectively serving a life sentence in prison.