Olympic gymnasts McKayla Maroney and Simone Biles ripped into the FBI and the Justice Department during their Senate testimony on Wednesday over how FBI agents handled abuse allegations brought against their disgraced former coach and pedophile Larry Nassar.
A tearful Maroney and Biles blamed USA Gymnastics and the FBI for enabling Nassar’s sexual abuse to dozens of women and girls, as they recounted their own trauma in a hearing over the agency’s failure to promptly investigate allegations against Nassar.
Maroney testified that she was interviewed for three hours by FBI agents in the summer of 2015 and revealed the horrendous abuse she suffered at the hands of Nassar, but said they failed to take action.
The gymnast, who took home gold and silver medals at the 2012 Olympics, alleged the FBI ‘chose to fabricate’ the narrative to ‘protect a serial child molester and not protect me’.
‘After telling my entire story of abuse to the FBI in the summer of 2015, not only did the FBI not report my abuse, but when they eventually documented my report, 17 months later, they made entirely false claims about what I said,’ she said through tears.
‘I 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.
‘They allowed a child molester to go free for more than a year and this inaction directly allowed Nassar’s abuse to continue.
‘What is the point of reporting abuse if our own FBI agents are going to take it upon themselves to bury that report in a drawer?’ she said.
The agent who took her interview violated key FBI procedures and made false statements in a summary the agent wrote of the interview more than a year later, according to the inspector general’s report.
Meanwhile, in her statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biles said that she ‘should have never been left alone,’ citing the abuse she was subjected to during one-on-one medical appointments with the convicted pedophile.
‘I will close with one final thought. The scars of this horrific abuse continue to live with all of us.
‘As the lone competitor at the recent Tokyo Games who was a survivor of this horror, I can assure you that the impacts of this man’s abuse are not ever over or forgotten,’ the four-time gold-medal winner said.
In her testimony, Maroney recounted how she described with intricate detail the abuse she suffered from Nassar, an ordeal which she said had left her with severe PTSD.
‘I was too sick to go to anyone in person and speaking about the abuse would give me PTSD for days,’ she said, before adding: ‘I disclosed all the molestations in extreme detail.
‘I told them that the first thing Larry Nassar ever said to me was to change into shorts with no underwear because that would make it easier for him to work on me, and within minutes, he had his fingers in my vagina,’ Maroney said.
‘The FBI then asked, ‘Did he insert his fingers into your rectum?’ I said, ‘No, he never did.’ They asked if he used gloves. I said, ‘No, he never did.’
‘They asked if this treatment ever helped me. I said, ‘No, it never did.’ This treatment was 100 percent abuse and never gave me any relief.’
Maroney went on to say that the agents ‘minimized and disregarded’ her experiences as she described her ordeal, after which an agent simply asked, ‘is that all?’
‘I began crying over the phone, and there was just silence. I was so shocked by the agents’ silence and disregard for my trauma and after a minute of silence he just said: is that all?’ she said.
‘Those words in itself was one of the worst moments of this entire process for me.
Maroney finished by calling out Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco who did not attend the testimony, before declaring the falsification of her statement by FBI agents was ‘an obvious crime’ and calling on the DOJ to indict those responsible.
‘What’s even more upsetting to me is that we know that these FBI agents have committed an obvious crime. They falsified my statement, and that is illegal in itself.
‘Deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco couldn’t bring herself to be here today. It’s the Department of Justice’s job to hold them accountable.
‘These individuals clearly violated policies and were negligent in executing their duties, and in doing so, more girls were abused by Larry Nassar for over a year.
‘To not indict these agents is a disservice to me and my teammates, a disservice to the system which is built to protect all of us from abuse.’
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Andrea Blanco, Rachel Sharp, and David Averre