Survivors weigh in after report blasts FBI’s handling of Nassar investigation


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Today, more survivors are speaking out — frustrated — that sexual assault complaints against Larry Nassar to the FBI went unanswered for months.

The question on many people’s minds today is “how many victims could have been saved?”

Today lawyers say the latest report just touches the surface of what went wrong with this investigation.

According to the 119-page report released just yesterday by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, in July 2015, officials with USA Gymnastics came forward to report sexual assault allegations against Larry Nassar. It says agents “failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.”

Olympic gymnast Jamie Dantzscher says she was abused by Larry Nassar for years.

“The only person that is in jail at this time is Larry Nassar and it’s very clear he’s not the only one responsible for this happening.”

David Mittleman, who represents more than 100 Nassar victims, says this report shows more people are responsible for letting the abuse continue.

“Too many survivors were hurt because of the delay,” he said.

Even though Nassar was on the FBI’s radar for months, it wasn’t until October 2016 that an investigation was opened here in mid-Michigan where Nassar was still working with student-athletes.

That investigation was spurred by a news report and allegations reported to the Michigan State University police During the delay of more than a year.

Officials say about 70 more girls and women were abused.

But even with this delay within the FBI, Mittleman says others also failed these women.

“If MSU would have listened to a survivor when she was 16 and told the head woman’s gymnastics team that something wrong was happening in 1997 – if the right thing would have been there perhaps we could have avoided the over 500 that have come forward.”

Attorneys say they hope the report on the FBI will lead to more transparency in the case, including a release of documents by MSU that are blocked by attorney-client privilege.

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