FBI’s Mishandling of Gymnastics Sexual Abuse Investigation Leads to Justice Department Changes

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FBI’s Mishandling of Gymnastics Sexual Abuse Investigation Leads to Justice Department Changes

FBI’s Mishandling of Gymnastics Sexual Abuse Investigation Leads to Justice Department Changes

Oct 4, 2021

The Justice Department is implementing changes to improve the ways federal agents and prosecutors engage with crime victims and witnesses. Additionally, efforts to better coordinate with state authorities are said to be an ongoing priority for the Justice Department, according to a new CNN report.

Said changes are being implemented after serious errors and outright incompetence was uncovered in the FBI’s handling of sexual abuse allegations against former USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar.

On Friday, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced the following changes in light of the FBI’s botched Larry Nassar sexual abuse investigation:

  • The department will revise its internal policy manual to ensure prosecutors and investigators are trained on how to assist crime victims and witnesses in line with federal laws.
  • A memo was issued to US attorneys and department lawyers to better coordinate with state law enforcement agencies in cases where federal charges appear unlikely.

Both of those shortcomings were highlighted extensively in the now infamous FBI “Dereliction of Duty” inspector general report, which was recently released and outlined the department’s mishandling of the Nassar Investigation.

When considering whether to initiate federal criminal charges, we must never forget the people who put their trust in the Department to keep them safe,” Monaco wrote. “Preventing violence or harm must be our top priority. Nowhere is this obligation more important than when vulnerable populations – including minors – are at risk.”

Additionally, Monaco announced the relaunching of a working group for crime victims and said she would update attorney general guidelines for victim and witness assistance (the latter of which, she said, have not had a comprehensive overhaul in a decade). Monaco asked for recommendations within 120 days.

The Department is committed to protecting crime victims’ rights and treating victims and witnesses with respect in all of our interactions,” Monaco added.

Nassar, 58, is currently serving a 40-to-174-year state prison sentence. 156 women and girls have come forward with allegations that he sexually abused them over the course of 20 years.

The inspector general report further uncovered gross failures on the part of the FBI, including a failure to properly investigate complaints from gymnasts with credible first-hand knowledge of the abuse. Those gymnasts went to the FBI in 2015 to sound the alarm on Nassar’s sex crimes, but their reports fell on deaf ears.

According to the inspector general report, between July 2015 – the time when USA Gymnastics officials first notified the FBI about the sexual abuse allegations against Nassar – and September 2016 – the time when the FBI eventually began to take initial steps through an official investigation – at least 70 additional athletes were abused by Nassar.

At last month’s Senate Judiciary Committee testimony, many of the women abused by Nassar – including Simone Biles and Aly Raisman – railed against the Justice Department for not doing more to punish the FBI agents who failed to do their jobs and conduct a thorough investigation into Nassar when they had the chance.

Reporting a Sexual Abuse Crime

Coming forward to report a sex crime is never easy. However, as we have seen with countless survivors throughout the years, the process of confronting your perpetrator in civil court and recovering maximum financial compensation that may allow for a fresh start can be incredibly empowering.

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DLG’s SAJE Team Advantage

When Sam Dordulian founded DLG, his goal was to create the Sex Crimes Division to not only be the elite, top-rated, and premier office in the nation, but he also wanted to offer survivors of sexual abuse a unique and all-encompassing form of representation and support that features added advantages.

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  • Litigation Lead: Sam Dordulian, former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County with over 100 jury trial victories and 25 years of experience
  • Investigative Lead: Moses Castillo, in-house Chief Investigator and retired LAPD sex crimes detective in the elite Abused Child Unit with over 30 years of experience
  • Mental Health Lead: In-house licensed clinical therapist with over 15 years of experience specifically assisting sexual assault survivors
  • Advocate Leads: Two licensed and nationally accredited victim advocates who have devoted their lives to helping sexual assault survivors

In addition to our unique and all-encompassing SAJE Team, DLG provides survivors with the utmost respect, discretion, professionalism, and dedication. We know how difficult it can be to come forward and report sexual abuse, and we’re here to listen, to believe, and to support survivors in their pursuit of justice.

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  • Former sex crimes prosecutor
  • Former Deputy District Attorney for L.A. County
  • In-house Chief Investigator/retired LAPD detective
  • More than 25 years of sex crimes experience

Our Sexual Assault Justice Experts are here to help survivors secure justice. Contact our top-rated attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

Contact us today online or at 818-322-4056 for a free and no obligation consultation. We’ll listen to the facts of your case (the DLG team believes survivors), launch a thorough investigation led by our SAJE Team member and in-house Chief Investigator, Moses Castillo, and develop an aggressive but precise legal strategy based on our decades of experience and past results. We’ll fight to ensure you recover the maximum financial damages award you deserve for your sexual abuse claim.

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And survivors turn to DLG to handle their claims because of our experience, dedication, and proven results. We are here for you as your dedicated legal advocate when you’re ready to take the first step towards pursuing justice against your perpetrator – whether an individual like Larry Nassar, an institution like USA Gymnastics, or both.

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