The American gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman violently denounced this Wednesday, September 15 the inaction of the sports authorities and the federal police to prevent the sexual assaults committed by the ex-doctor of the women’s team of the United States, Larry Nassar, on young athletes for two decades.
“We were let down and we owe an explanation”, voice broken with emotion, Simone Biles, 24, said before a Senate committee tasked with examining the “Failures” of the investigation.
A new investigation after yet another report
Larry Nassar, 58, is serving a life sentence after being sentenced to several heavy sentences in 2017 and 2018 for sexual assault on more than 250 gymnasts, most of them minors, committed within the gymnastics federation, in the Michigan State University and a gymnastics club in Lansing where he worked.
An inspection report from the Department of Justice, an independent body, was very harsh on the local FBI office in Indianapolis, where the boss of the gymnastics federation first reported the charges against the osteopath in July 2015.
The investigation was closed in September and it took another report, eight months later, for a new investigation to be successful.
” VSFBI agents have committed a crime “
“I hold Larry Nassar responsible and I hold accountable an entire system that allowed and perpetrated these assaults, the American Gymnastics Federation and the American Olympic Committee”, said Simone Biles, a huge multi-medal gold champion.
“What is the value of a little girl?” “, she wondered during a poignant testimony.
READ ALSO : “I’m no longer afraid”: the superstar Simone Biles reveals to have been abused by her doctor
McKayla Maroney, she focused her anger on the local FBI office which had collected his testimony containing very specific details of the assaults.
“Not only did the FBI not do an investigation, but when (federal agents) finally made a report 17 months later, they made false statements about what I said.”, accused the 25-year-old former gymnast, who was assaulted when she was 13.
By falsifying his testimony, “These FBI agents have committed a crime”, she underlined, denouncing the absence of sanctions taken by the Ministry of Justice which, according to her, “Refused to continue” these police officers.
The expected FBI director
Aly Raisman, who had revealed to have been assaulted from 2010, had denounced Larry Nassar in 2015 to the Federation.
However, “The FBI took 14 months to contact me despite my numerous requests to testify”, said the 27-year-old.
Maggie Nichols, 24 and the first to say she was sexually assaulted, said she was “Haunted by the fact that even after reporting my assaults, so many women and girls suffered”.
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The Senate committee is also due to hear from FBI Director Christopher Wray and Justice Department Chief Inspector Michael Horowitz.