United States Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles and Aly Raisman were on hand on Wednesday to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee that FBI agents need to be held accountable for mishandling the investigation into former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar.
According to a recent report published by the Department of Justice's inspector general, FBI agents didn't act with "seriousness and urgency" regarding reports of Nassar and his misconducts. The report found that FBI agents mishandled evidence and even made false statements to investigators relating to the case.
"It truly feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us," Biles told the Senate on Wednesday.
She added that the FBI agents in question need to be prosecuted and held fully accountable for their lack of action. Biles also questioned why the Department of Justice hasn't already handed out criminal charges to these FBI agents. During Wednesday's hearing, senators stated that a Justice Department official declined to speak regarding the investigation.
Raisman informed the senators that it took 14 months for FBI agents to speak to her after the initial report of Nassar's sexual misconduct in 2015. That means that for more than a year after the initial report, Nassar was permitted to see patients. Dozens of young women were sexually assaulted during that time period.
"Why would duly sworn officers ignore reports of abuse across state lines?" Raisman asked on Wednesday.
Fellow American gymnast McKayla Maroney, like Raisman, brought up the timeline.
"By not taking action from my report they (the FBI) allowed a child molester to go free for more than a year. They had legal evidence of child abuse and did nothing," Maroney stated in her testimony.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray also testified on Wednesday. Wray did acknowledge that the FBI agents were in the wrong and said that there were "fundamental errors that occurred in 2015 and 2016 that should never have happened."
Wray informed the senators that the FBI was altering its processes in order to make sure that a failure of this magnitude never happens again. When the first complaints were brought to the FBI's attention in 2015, Wray wasn't leading the FBI at that time.
"I'm deeply and profoundly sorry," Wray said "...I'm especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their own chance to stop this monster in 2015 and failed. It never should have happened. And we're doing everything in our power to make sure it never happens again."
Nassar is currently serving a 60-year prison sentence for child pornography charges, which is from police finding that material on his property in September 2016. In addition, Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Michigan state court. That added 175 years to his prison sentence.