The U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday that criminal charges will not be pursued against a pair of former FBI agents who failed to quickly open an investigation into Larry Nassar despite learning of accusations that he had sexually assaulted female gymnasts.
According to a report by the Associated Press, government officials had previously chosen not to pursue charges against the agents, but that decision was said to be under review last October. The FBI agents in question had been told by USA Gymnastics in 2015 that three gymnasts claimed they were sexually assaulted by Nassar, a former sports doctor at Michigan State University. The FBI neither opened a formal investigation, nor inform federal or state authorities in Michigan about the matter.
The agency’s inspector general found that the former agents likely provided “inaccurate or incomplete information” when investigators tried to understand what happened. The department said that more would be needed in order to file charges, but stressed that the process of investigating Nassar’s crimes was handled properly.
“This does not in any way reflect a view that the investigation of Nassar was handled as it should have been, nor in any way reflects approval or disregard of the conduct of the former agents,” the department said.
Before Nassar was arrested in November of 2016, lawyers for Nassar’s victims claimed that the serial sexual predator assaulted “more than 100” young women or teenagers after the FBI became aware of allegations against him. At least 13 of Nassar’s victims are seeking $10 million each from the U.S. government.
Olympic legend Simone Biles, one of Nassar’s victims, took to Twitter to react to the news on Thursday, in part writing “justice is never served.”
One of the FBI agents in question was fired, while the other has retired. At a 2021 Senate hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray issued an apology to Nassar’s victims, saying that it was “inexcusable” that federal agents “had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed.”
Nassar, who sexually abused his victims under the guise of medical treatment, was sentenced to 40-175 years in prison for his various sex crimes in addition to a 60-year prison sentence on child pornography charges.