'We have been failed': Simone Biles breaks down in tears recounting Nassar's sexual abuse

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NBC News 15 September, 2021 - 12:01pm 25 views

What is the Nassar case?

Nassar was charged in 2016 with federal child pornography offenses and sexual abuse charges in Michigan. In vivid and emotional testimony McKayla Moroney said Nassar "turned out to be more of a pedophile than he was a doctor." NPRUS Gymnasts Testify On FBI's Handling Of Larry Nassar's Case

Updated 11:26 AM ET, Wed September 15, 2021

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Analysis: Donald Trump's mental health becomes an issue again

C-SPAN 15 September, 2021 - 01:10pm

Updated 11:26 AM ET, Wed September 15, 2021

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Simone Biles complete opening statement

C-SPAN 15 September, 2021 - 01:10pm

Simone Biles: I don't want anyone else to suffer the horror I did

MARCA.com 15 September, 2021 - 11:58am

Biles, who won Olympic medals in her discipine, was speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the FBI's handling of the Larry Nassar investigation.

"I don't want another young gymnast, or Olympic athlete, or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others have endured before, during and continuing to this day in the wake of the Larry Nasser abuse," said Biles.

"I blame Larry Nasser, and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse.

"If you allow a predator to harm children, the consequences will be swift and severe."

The Olympic athlete felt let down by many organisations and authorities, including the FBI.

"We suffered and continue to suffer, because no one at FBI, [USA Gymnastics] or the [United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee] did what was necessary to protect us," said Biles.

"We have been failed and we deserve answers. Nasser is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable.

"If they are not, I am convinced that this will continue to happen to others across Olympic sports."

Biles was noticeably choked up and on occasion broke down in tears as she gave her testimony. Former team doctor Larry Nassar is serving a life sentence behind bars, but the investigation into the FBI's handling of the case is ongoing.

A report from the Justice Department released in July revealed grave failings and mistakes on the part of the FBI, which led to severe delays in bringing Nassar to justice.

Nassar used his position as doctor to abuse more than 330 children and young people. His sentence was delivered between December 2017 and February 2018.

McKayla Maroney: FBI made "entirely false claims about what I said"

CNN 15 September, 2021 - 08:16am

US Gymnastic star McKayla Maroney said during her opening statement that after telling the FBI her "entire story of abuse" by former team doctor Larry Nassar, they not only didn't report it, but later made "entirely false claims about what I said."

Maroney noted that after she read the inspector general's report, she "was shocked and deeply disappointed at this narrative they chose to fabricate. They chose to lie about what I said and protect a serial child molester rather than protect not only me, but countless others."

Maroney said that to have her "abuse be minimized and disregarded by the people who were supposed to protect me just to feel like my abuse was not enough." 

She continued: "The truth is, my abuse was enough and they wanted to cover it up. USA Gymnastics in concert with the FBI and the Olympic Committee were working together to conceal that Larry Nassar was a predator."

US Gymnastic star Simone Biles opened her testimony at the Senate hearing by saying that she could "imagine no place that I would be less comfortable right now than sitting here...sharing these comments."

Biles said that she is a survivor of sexual abuse. She said that the abuse that she suffered happened in part because USA Gymnastics "failed to do their jobs."

"I am also a survivor of sexual abuse. And I believe without a doubt that the circumstances that led to my abuse and allowed it to continue, are directly the result of the fact that the organizations created by Congress to oversee and protect me as an athlete – USA Gymnastics (USAG) and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) – failed to do their jobs," she said.

The athlete said that along with disgraced and imprisoned former USA gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, she blamed "an entire system that enabled and perpetuated his abuse."

"I don't want another young gymnast, Olympic athlete or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others have endured before, during and continuing to this day, in the wake — of the Larry Nassar abuse," Biles said with her voice cracking with emotion.

She added that even though USA Gymnastics knew that she was abused, the FBI never contacted her about their investigation into sex abuse claims.

Several US senators have called for the FBI agents who botched the investigation into sexual assault allegations against the former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar to be prosecuted during a congressional hearing this morning.

Four members of the Olympics USA Gymnastics team are testifying before the committee. The hearing is being held after scathing report from the Justice Department's inspector general's office this summer revealed a number of missteps by the FBI in the case.

Nassar is currently serving a 40-to-174-year state prison sentence after 150 women and girls came forward to expose that he abused them over the course of 20 years.

"Today we believe Nassar abuse more than 300 athletes before he was brought to justice. As the details of Nassar's crimes emerged, there's been a consistent theme of neglect and inaction by those who are responsible for protecting the athletes," Durbin said. 

Decorated gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman as well as the FBI Director Christopher Wray and Inspector General Michael Horowitz are scheduled to testify. 

The inspector general's report found that FBI Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abbott and Supervisory Special Agent Michael Langeman conducted a "limited follow up" investigation in 2015 and neglected to interview two of the three accusers. 

"I hope to hear more about exactly what happened at FBI Headquarters, other than its children you in it who knew about the Nassar allegations, how and when they learned of these allegations and what they did in response," Sen. Chuck Grassley said in his opening remarks. "If there's one thing the inspector general's report illustrates it says that we need to make sure the bureau is more effective and held more accountable."

Following the inspector general's report, the Justice Department declined to prosecute Abbott and Langeman. Abbott retired and Langeman was fired in recent weeks. 

"It's not only that the FBI failed to do its job, systematically, and repeatedly, it is also the cover of the cover up that occurred afterward,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal said in his opening remarks.

“When FBI agents made material, false statements and deceptive omissions referred by the Inspector General for criminal prosecution, those referrals were declined, without explanation, without any public explanation at all," Blumenthal said. "My hope is that the Department of Justice, which was invited today and has declined to appear, will explain why those lies by FBI agents did not lead to criminal prosecution, and accountability and even days before this hearing."

Durbin said he's "disappointed" that the Justice Department declined to participate in Wednesday's hearing but promises an oversight hearing with them in the fall.

Grassley said that he is working on "legislation to close the legislative loophole in the sex tourism statute that the inspector general flag in his report. This gap in the law allowed Larry Nassar to evade federal prosecution for assaulting children while traveling abroad, and that can never happen again."

US Gymnastics stars Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols were just sworn before their testimony at the Senate committee on the FBI’s handling of the Larry Nassar investigation.

The four gymnasts will now give statements. Biles is going first.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal called the FBI's mishandling of the Larry Nassar investigation a "systematic" failure that leaves many wondering "if the FBI is capable of these kind of sexual abuse allegations."

Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison, after more than 150 women and girls said he sexually abused them over the past two decades.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin noted at the start of the hearing how athletic institutions had failed to protect the athletes from abuse.

"It shocks the conscience when those failures come from law enforcement itself," Durbin said.

"Our focus today is on the FBI, how did it fail, so badly, when it came to Nassar's victims, and what are FBI leaders doing today to ensure this never happens again," he continued, saying that the victims deserve better from the FBI.

Gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman are set to speak soon.

Some context: The hearing is examining how the FBI mishandled its investigation into the Nassar allegations, which were first brought to the agency in July 2015. Several violations of protocols led to months of delay, as captured in a scathing Justice Department inspector general report released in July.

While the federal investigation languished, Nassar abused scores of victims, the inspector general report said.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Chris Wray will also testify.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is hearing testimony today from four elite gymnasts — Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman — who say they were abused by Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor who is now serving a several-decade prison sentence.

The hearing is examining how the FBI mishandled its investigation into the Nassar allegations, which were first brought to the agency in July 2015. Several violations of protocols led to months of delay, as captured in a scathing Justice Department inspector general report released in July.

While the federal investigation languished, Nassar abused scores of victims, the inspector general report said.

FBI officials "failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required, made numerous and fundamental errors when they did respond to them, and violated multiple FBI policies," the report stated.

Disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who is currently serving a decades-long sentence in federal prison for sexual abuse, has been delinquent in his payments toward court-ordered criminal penalties, according to a new court filing.

A motion filed July 28 by the US Justice Department said that since Nassar's incarceration, he had received deposits into his inmate trust account that reached $12,825, including two stimulus checks totaling $2,000.

As of July 28, Nassar had $2,041.57 in his account, according to the motion. It is unclear where the additional money – more than $10,000 – went.

In addition, he was sentenced on Jan. 24, 2018, to up to 175 years in Michigan state prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct. At the sentencing, 156 victims spoke, recounting similar stories of how they went to Nassar to receive treatment for sports injuries only to be sexually assaulted and told it was a form of treatment.

He is currently serving his federal sentence in the US Penitentiary in Sumterville, Florida.

Despite having money in his account, Nassar has only paid $300 toward the more than $62,000 he was ordered to pay, according to the motion. He was ordered to pay $57,488.52 in restitution to five victims in the child pornography case, along with an extra $5,000 for a special assessment fee pursuant to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, the motion read.

All of Nassar's payments toward his restitution have been "in the form of the minimum $25.00 quarterly payments based on his participation" in the Inmate Financial Responsibility Program, the motion said.

The motion requests that the court order the Bureau of Prisons to turn over the funds in his account, up to $62,488.52, to be applied to his outstanding restitution and special assessment debt.

Included with the motion was a letter from the US Marshal Service on July 22 to the warden at US Penitentiary Colemen II in Sumterville, requesting that "all outbound financial transactions and withdrawals from his trust account be frozen pending further order of this Court," the motion reads.

The Bureau of Prisons told CNN that it "is committed to taking all appropriate steps to help ensure that inmates meet their financial obligations, including court-ordered payments to compensate victims. As part of that process, it regularly analyzes and monitors inmate accounts. BOP also partners with other law enforcement agencies and regularly notifies relevant authorities – such as the U.S. Marshals and US Attorneys' offices – when it identifies funds that are appropriately subject to seizure. BOP took such steps here. As reflected on the public docket, the government has asked the court to order that all funds in an inmate's account be turned over to satisfy a restitution judgment. The BOP will continue to examine its policies in an effort to do all it can to help ensure that inmates meet their fundamental financial obligations."

Read the full story here.

The gymnasts testifying today have all previously spoken publicly about being the victims of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar's abuse. Nassar, who also worked for Michigan State University, touched athletes inappropriately under the guise of performing medical treatments on them.

Simone Biles — a winner of seven Olympic medals, as well as several world and national championships — revealed this year that she was motivated to compete in the Tokyo Summer Olympics in part because it would force the sport to confront its shortcomings in protecting its athletes.

"I feel like if there weren't a remaining survivor in the sport, they would've just brushed it to the side," Biles told NBC's Hoda Kotb. "But since I'm still here, and I have quite a social media presence and platform, they have to do something."

Aly Raisman — who won Olympic medals in 2012 and 2016 — has also been vocal in criticizing how Nassar and others were allowed to get away with abusing gymnasts for so long, telling CNN's "New Day" in March:

Nichols reported Nassar to US Gymnastics in 2015, alleging that his inappropriate touching started when she was 15 and that he also sent her Facebook messages complimenting her looks.

They will now be speaking to the Senate as lawmakers pressure the Justice Department to take more steps to address the lapses in its Nassar investigation.

McKayla Maroney: FBI made "entirely false claims about what I said"

Fox News 15 September, 2021 - 08:16am

US Gymnastic star McKayla Maroney said during her opening statement that after telling the FBI her "entire story of abuse" by former team doctor Larry Nassar, they not only didn't report it, but later made "entirely false claims about what I said."

Maroney noted that after she read the inspector general's report, she "was shocked and deeply disappointed at this narrative they chose to fabricate. They chose to lie about what I said and protect a serial child molester rather than protect not only me, but countless others."

Maroney said that to have her "abuse be minimized and disregarded by the people who were supposed to protect me just to feel like my abuse was not enough." 

She continued: "The truth is, my abuse was enough and they wanted to cover it up. USA Gymnastics in concert with the FBI and the Olympic Committee were working together to conceal that Larry Nassar was a predator."

US Gymnastic star Simone Biles opened her testimony at the Senate hearing by saying that she could "imagine no place that I would be less comfortable right now than sitting here...sharing these comments."

Biles said that she is a survivor of sexual abuse. She said that the abuse that she suffered happened in part because USA Gymnastics "failed to do their jobs."

"I am also a survivor of sexual abuse. And I believe without a doubt that the circumstances that led to my abuse and allowed it to continue, are directly the result of the fact that the organizations created by Congress to oversee and protect me as an athlete – USA Gymnastics (USAG) and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) – failed to do their jobs," she said.

The athlete said that along with disgraced and imprisoned former USA gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, she blamed "an entire system that enabled and perpetuated his abuse."

"I don't want another young gymnast, Olympic athlete or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others have endured before, during and continuing to this day, in the wake — of the Larry Nassar abuse," Biles said with her voice cracking with emotion.

She added that even though USA Gymnastics knew that she was abused, the FBI never contacted her about their investigation into sex abuse claims.

Several US senators have called for the FBI agents who botched the investigation into sexual assault allegations against the former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar to be prosecuted during a congressional hearing this morning.

Four members of the Olympics USA Gymnastics team are testifying before the committee. The hearing is being held after scathing report from the Justice Department's inspector general's office this summer revealed a number of missteps by the FBI in the case.

Nassar is currently serving a 40-to-174-year state prison sentence after 150 women and girls came forward to expose that he abused them over the course of 20 years.

"Today we believe Nassar abuse more than 300 athletes before he was brought to justice. As the details of Nassar's crimes emerged, there's been a consistent theme of neglect and inaction by those who are responsible for protecting the athletes," Durbin said. 

Decorated gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman as well as the FBI Director Christopher Wray and Inspector General Michael Horowitz are scheduled to testify. 

The inspector general's report found that FBI Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abbott and Supervisory Special Agent Michael Langeman conducted a "limited follow up" investigation in 2015 and neglected to interview two of the three accusers. 

"I hope to hear more about exactly what happened at FBI Headquarters, other than its children you in it who knew about the Nassar allegations, how and when they learned of these allegations and what they did in response," Sen. Chuck Grassley said in his opening remarks. "If there's one thing the inspector general's report illustrates it says that we need to make sure the bureau is more effective and held more accountable."

Following the inspector general's report, the Justice Department declined to prosecute Abbott and Langeman. Abbott retired and Langeman was fired in recent weeks. 

"It's not only that the FBI failed to do its job, systematically, and repeatedly, it is also the cover of the cover up that occurred afterward,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal said in his opening remarks.

“When FBI agents made material, false statements and deceptive omissions referred by the Inspector General for criminal prosecution, those referrals were declined, without explanation, without any public explanation at all," Blumenthal said. "My hope is that the Department of Justice, which was invited today and has declined to appear, will explain why those lies by FBI agents did not lead to criminal prosecution, and accountability and even days before this hearing."

Durbin said he's "disappointed" that the Justice Department declined to participate in Wednesday's hearing but promises an oversight hearing with them in the fall.

Grassley said that he is working on "legislation to close the legislative loophole in the sex tourism statute that the inspector general flag in his report. This gap in the law allowed Larry Nassar to evade federal prosecution for assaulting children while traveling abroad, and that can never happen again."

US Gymnastics stars Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols were just sworn before their testimony at the Senate committee on the FBI’s handling of the Larry Nassar investigation.

The four gymnasts will now give statements. Biles is going first.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal called the FBI's mishandling of the Larry Nassar investigation a "systematic" failure that leaves many wondering "if the FBI is capable of these kind of sexual abuse allegations."

Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison, after more than 150 women and girls said he sexually abused them over the past two decades.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin noted at the start of the hearing how athletic institutions had failed to protect the athletes from abuse.

"It shocks the conscience when those failures come from law enforcement itself," Durbin said.

"Our focus today is on the FBI, how did it fail, so badly, when it came to Nassar's victims, and what are FBI leaders doing today to ensure this never happens again," he continued, saying that the victims deserve better from the FBI.

Gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman are set to speak soon.

Some context: The hearing is examining how the FBI mishandled its investigation into the Nassar allegations, which were first brought to the agency in July 2015. Several violations of protocols led to months of delay, as captured in a scathing Justice Department inspector general report released in July.

While the federal investigation languished, Nassar abused scores of victims, the inspector general report said.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Chris Wray will also testify.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is hearing testimony today from four elite gymnasts — Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman — who say they were abused by Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor who is now serving a several-decade prison sentence.

The hearing is examining how the FBI mishandled its investigation into the Nassar allegations, which were first brought to the agency in July 2015. Several violations of protocols led to months of delay, as captured in a scathing Justice Department inspector general report released in July.

While the federal investigation languished, Nassar abused scores of victims, the inspector general report said.

FBI officials "failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required, made numerous and fundamental errors when they did respond to them, and violated multiple FBI policies," the report stated.

Disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who is currently serving a decades-long sentence in federal prison for sexual abuse, has been delinquent in his payments toward court-ordered criminal penalties, according to a new court filing.

A motion filed July 28 by the US Justice Department said that since Nassar's incarceration, he had received deposits into his inmate trust account that reached $12,825, including two stimulus checks totaling $2,000.

As of July 28, Nassar had $2,041.57 in his account, according to the motion. It is unclear where the additional money – more than $10,000 – went.

In addition, he was sentenced on Jan. 24, 2018, to up to 175 years in Michigan state prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct. At the sentencing, 156 victims spoke, recounting similar stories of how they went to Nassar to receive treatment for sports injuries only to be sexually assaulted and told it was a form of treatment.

He is currently serving his federal sentence in the US Penitentiary in Sumterville, Florida.

Despite having money in his account, Nassar has only paid $300 toward the more than $62,000 he was ordered to pay, according to the motion. He was ordered to pay $57,488.52 in restitution to five victims in the child pornography case, along with an extra $5,000 for a special assessment fee pursuant to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, the motion read.

All of Nassar's payments toward his restitution have been "in the form of the minimum $25.00 quarterly payments based on his participation" in the Inmate Financial Responsibility Program, the motion said.

The motion requests that the court order the Bureau of Prisons to turn over the funds in his account, up to $62,488.52, to be applied to his outstanding restitution and special assessment debt.

Included with the motion was a letter from the US Marshal Service on July 22 to the warden at US Penitentiary Colemen II in Sumterville, requesting that "all outbound financial transactions and withdrawals from his trust account be frozen pending further order of this Court," the motion reads.

The Bureau of Prisons told CNN that it "is committed to taking all appropriate steps to help ensure that inmates meet their financial obligations, including court-ordered payments to compensate victims. As part of that process, it regularly analyzes and monitors inmate accounts. BOP also partners with other law enforcement agencies and regularly notifies relevant authorities – such as the U.S. Marshals and US Attorneys' offices – when it identifies funds that are appropriately subject to seizure. BOP took such steps here. As reflected on the public docket, the government has asked the court to order that all funds in an inmate's account be turned over to satisfy a restitution judgment. The BOP will continue to examine its policies in an effort to do all it can to help ensure that inmates meet their fundamental financial obligations."

Read the full story here.

The gymnasts testifying today have all previously spoken publicly about being the victims of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar's abuse. Nassar, who also worked for Michigan State University, touched athletes inappropriately under the guise of performing medical treatments on them.

Simone Biles — a winner of seven Olympic medals, as well as several world and national championships — revealed this year that she was motivated to compete in the Tokyo Summer Olympics in part because it would force the sport to confront its shortcomings in protecting its athletes.

"I feel like if there weren't a remaining survivor in the sport, they would've just brushed it to the side," Biles told NBC's Hoda Kotb. "But since I'm still here, and I have quite a social media presence and platform, they have to do something."

Aly Raisman — who won Olympic medals in 2012 and 2016 — has also been vocal in criticizing how Nassar and others were allowed to get away with abusing gymnasts for so long, telling CNN's "New Day" in March:

Nichols reported Nassar to US Gymnastics in 2015, alleging that his inappropriate touching started when she was 15 and that he also sent her Facebook messages complimenting her looks.

They will now be speaking to the Senate as lawmakers pressure the Justice Department to take more steps to address the lapses in its Nassar investigation.

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