19:04 GMT24 July 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The FBI Indianapolis field office investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by former US gymnastics team physician Lawrence Gerard Nassar was marred by multiple failures, the Justice Department Office of Inspector General (OIG) said in a report.

    "The OIG found that, despite the extraordinarily serious nature of the allegations and the possibility that Nassar’s conduct could be continuing, senior officials in the FBI Indianapolis Field Office 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 said on Wednesday.

    The FBI did not conduct a formal investigation into the matter until more than eight months after a September 2015 bureau interview with a victim. That interview was preceded by a meeting in July with the US Gymnastics team, in which three victims came forward about sexual assaults they experienced.

    The FBI field office in Indianapolis and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana concluded that there was no legal venue to be found in the city, since it had no connection to any of the alleged illegal activity. Both offices also questioned whether the allegations against Nassar fell under federal jurisdiction, and opted not to advise the state or local authorities.

    The US gymnastics team reiterated their concern to the FBI field office in Los Angeles, leading to the launch of a formal investigation, but similarly did not contact any state or local authorities although state laws were violated. The investigation likewise failed to take action to mitigate the risks to the gymnasts.

    Nasser was arrested following a Michigan State University Police and FBI Lansing resident office investigation that led to the discovery of 30,000 child pornography files across his electronic devices. Over 260 women and girls stated that they were sexually assaulted by Nassar.

    In January 2018, Nassar was sentenced to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing minors - young female athletes who were entrusted to his care as the team's doctor.


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