Lawrence Nassar is by now well-known for his predatory practices, preying upon possibly 265 girls who have come forward, some as young as 12, in the US Gymnastics team. Nassar is but one of some 50 coaches who have been accused of sexual abuse in an incredible cover-up involving USA Gymnastics, which only contacted law enforcement in a few of the cases (certainly puts the whole Russia doping scandal into a different light – politics has always been more important than actual criminality).

What has now been revealed, though, should indicate that it was not just USA Gymnastics that was slow to come to the aid of the most vulnerable of its athletes, but also the FBI… suggesting corruption or incompetence that reaches higher than we can imagine.

An FBI inquiry into Nassar moved at a snail’s pace, sitting for a whole year on information that included accusations by the family of victims and “instructional videos of the doctor’s unusual treatment methods, showing his ungloved hands working about the private areas of girls lying face down on tables“.

The NY Times:

The three alleged victims then at the center of the F.B.I.’s inquiry were world-class athletes; two were Olympic gold medalists. Nearly a year passed before agents interviewed two of the young women.

The silence at times drove the victims and their families to distraction, including Gina Nichols, the mother of the gymnast initially known as “Athlete A”: Maggie Nichols, who was not contacted by the F.B.I. for nearly 11 months after the information she provided sparked the federal inquiry.

I never got a phone call from the police or the F.B.I.” during that time, Gina Nichols, a registered nurse, said. “Not one person. Not one. Not one. Not one.”  

Gina Nichols, mother of one of Nasser’s victims, went to the president of US Gymnastics Steve Penny, who told her to stay silent, while his organization contacted the authorities. Steve did as he had promised, but likely cared more about minimizing the potential fallout to his organization than seeking justice.

Gina Nichols, Maggie’s mother, recalled telling Steve Penny, then the president of U.S.A. Gymnastics, that the police had to be called immediately. But he insisted that she not tell anyone, she said. The organization would take care of alerting law enforcement.

Weeks of silence passed, Gina Nichols said, interrupted occasionally by admonitions from Mr. Penny to keep quiet about the matter — although the United States Olympic Committee has said that U.S.A. Gymnastics reported that one of its physicians had been accused of abusing athletes “and was in the process of contacting the appropriate law enforcement authorities.”

After contacting the FBI on July 17 2015, the gymnastics officials gave them the contact information of three gymnasts… and video evidence of Nassar’s “techniques”:

They also turned over copies of videos of Dr. Nassar demonstrating his technique as he chatted clinically about pulled hamstrings, buttocks and trigger points. Reporters for The New York Times have seen the videos, which show him kneading the legs of girls before his ungloved hands begin to work under a towel, between the girls’ legs.

“It’s not a fun place to dig,” Dr. Nassar says to the camera.

“Do the hand-shaky thing,” he adds later, demonstrating how he shakes his hand vigorously when it is deep between a girl’s legs.

Apparently, they did not hear back from the FBI and had to contact them again.

“As time passed, concern about a perceived lack of development prompted Board Chair Paul Parilla and C.E.O. Steve Penny to report the matter a second time to a different F.B.I. office,” U.S.A. Gymnastics said in a statement to The Times.

Nassar was recently sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct of more than 260 young women.

In the year of inaction, after viewing video evidence of Nassar’s crimes, Nassar molested “at least” 40 more girls.


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