DOJ Confirms Decision Not To Charge Agents Who Mishandled Larry Nassar Allegations

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Two former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents who violated agency protocols when investigating sexual abuse perpetrated by former U.S. gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar will not be charged with crimes, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday.

Supervisory Special Agent Michael Langeman and Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abbott failed to properly notify local investigators of the allegations against Nassar when they first received a complaint in 2015, and they did not properly document several meetings and interviews, a 2021 Inspector General report revealed. The FBI fired Langeman in September 2021, while Abbott left the bureau in 2018 amid an internal investigation. Although the government announced in 2021 that the two agents would not be charged, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced in October that the decision would be reviewed.

The decision not to charge “does not in any way reflect a view that the investigation of Nassar was handled as it should have been, nor in any way reflect approval or disregard of the conduct of the former agents,” the DOJ said in a statement. (RELATED: Larry Nassar Showed Police PowerPoints Depicting How He Molested Girls)

“While the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General has outlined serious concerns about the former agents’ conduct during the Nassar investigation, and also described how evidence shows that during interviews in the years after the events in question both former agents appear to have provided inaccurate or incomplete information to investigators, the Principles of Federal Prosecution require more to bring a federal criminal case,” the statement read.

Monaco ordered the review after some of the sports’ biggest stars testified to Congress about their abuse at the hands of Nassar. He is currently serving a sentence of 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges, and also received a sentence between 40 and 175 years for sexual assault.

Two senators who pushed for the 2021 hearings blasted the charging decision, saying that law enforcement officials must be held accountable for the failure to immediately investigate and charge Nassar.

“FBI agents who knew of Larry Nassar’s abuse, did nothing, and then lied about it will face no legal consequences for their actions. Dozens of athletes would have been spared unimaginable abuse if these agents had just done their jobs. Their actions demand accountability,” Republican Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran and Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said in a joint statement, according to the Washington Post.