WASHINGTON – Multiple FBI field offices failed to promptly and properly respond to repeated allegations of sexual abuse of Olympic gymnasts and other young athletes by Olympic Physician Larry Nassar, according to a Justice Department Inspector General report released today. That investigation was initiated after Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, led an effort in Congress to examine the FBI’s handling of the case. Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responded to the report.
“We should be able to count on the FBI to take allegations of sexual abuse seriously and act swiftly to investigate and hold perpetrators accountable. Today’s report confirms my fears that, in this case, the FBI failed to live up to its mission. Sadly, this failure allowed more children to face terrible abuse at the hands of someone who habitually exploited his position of trust to prey on the most vulnerable. I’m grateful for the Inspector General’s diligence in shining a light on this case. It’s now up to Director Wray to hold bad actors accountable. The FBI must learn from its failures and take correct actions to ensure this never happens again,” Grassley said.
As chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 2017, Grassley convened the first congressional hearing on protecting young athletes from sexual abuse, and co-authored legislation requiring amateur athletic organizations to report instances of sexual abuse. He also conducted oversight into the U.S. Olympic Committee’s response following the Nassar scandal and crafted legislation to improve safeguards for young athletes, protect whistleblowers and ensure proper use of funds designed to investigate allegations of abuse. Grassley’s efforts were included in a package that later became law.