Sexual abuse survivor, lawmaker, react to FBI Nassar “errors”

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A report from the U.S. Department of Justice shows the FBI made fundamental errors in its investigation into sexual abuse allegations against former Michigan State University and USA gymnastic coach, Larry Nassar.

A few hours after that report was released, Rachael Denhollander gave an emotional response.

She was the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual assault. She said she’s processing what she knew all along.

On Twitter writing: “This is why survivors don’t report. Because the very people tasked with protection so often don’t.”

Some of the FBI’s mistakes laid out in this report include:

  • Not conducting an investigation until more than a month after meeting with USA gymnastics.
  • Agents only interviewing one of the three athletes by phone in July 2015 — but never speaking with the other two gymnasts, despite them being available to meet.

The investigation also shows the Indianapolis and Los Angeles FBI offices failed to notify the Lansing FBI office about the investigation.

It wasn’t until one year later that the Lansing office became aware.

“Had they done that job, over 100 women in Michigan State wouldn’t have had to suffer what they had to suffer,” said Alex Cunny, an attorney representing abuse survivors.

Another person responding to this report is Michigan Senator, Gary Peters. He wrote that this is “appalling,” and that Congress needs to pass legislation holding institutions accountable to protect survivors when they report abuse.

Like many others tonight, Rachael Denhollander still has a lot of questions on her mind.

Tweeting, “Ask what has to be done to stop this… ask what has to change so this doesn’t happen again.”

The FBI put out a statement saying this should not have happened, and that “The FBI has taken affirmative steps to ensure, and has confirmed that those responsible for the misconduct and breach of trust, no longer work FBI matters.”

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