Gymnast Aly Raisman has hit out at the Department of Justice for failing to attend a senate probe hearing into the FBI‘s handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case – accusing the DoJ of sending a message that they didn’t think the suffering of the pedophile doctor’s victims was ‘worth their time’.
The 27-year-old gave damning testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee for its hearing into the FBI’s botched probe into Nassar’s sexual abuse on Wednesday – during which she detailed the abuse she endured at the hands of the former Team USA doctor, before blasting the FBI for failing to properly investigate gymnasts’ initial abuse claims, leaving Nassar free to abuse another 120 children.
She was joined at the hearing by her fellow gymnasts and Nassar abuse victims Simone Biles, 24, McKayla Maroney, 25, and Maggie Nichols, 24, all of whom accused the FBI of failing them and so many other Nassar victims in failing to take action when his abuse was first brought to light.
The Senate hearing examined why the FBI failed to investigate Nassar, 58, for his crimes sooner, leaving the predator free to carry on his decades-long reign of abuse for more than a year after the allegations were first reported.
Appearing on the on Thursday morning, Raisman opened up about the devastating toll that the hearing had on her, admitting to hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie that she has been left ‘anxious, triggered, and drained’ after reliving the sexual abuse that she suffered for so many years while under the ‘care’ of USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee.
‘It’s kind of hard to describe how I’m feeling,’ she admitted.
‘There [are] so many different emotions. First, I’m anxious. I’m triggered. I’m drained.’
‘Triggered’: Gymnast Aly Raisman opened up about the devastating toll of reliving her sexual abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar for a senate probe into the FBI’s handling of the case
Upset: During a Today show appearance on Thursday, porn story xxx the 27-year-old spoke about the damning testimony she gave – while blasting the Department of Justice for failing to attend
‘Heartbreaking’: Raisman, pictured at the senate hearing while listening to fellow gymnast McKayla Maroney’s testimony, praised her teammates for their bravery in speaking out
Raisman also praised her teammates for their strength in speaking out about their own experiences, expressing how ‘proud’ she is of her fellow gymnasts.
‘It’s heartbreaking just to listen back to my teammates and my very close friends [and] their testimonies and I’m so proud of them,’ she said. ‘It’s hard, it’s hard to do that.
It’s hard to go up there and share so much.’
While Raisman admitted that she felt ‘a little bit more hopeful’ about the future of the case as a result of the ‘support’ she and her fellow Nassar victims received from the senators at the hearing, she doubled down on her criticism of the Department of Justice for failing to attend – describing the absence as ‘very disappointing’.
During her testimony, Raisman said the no-show ‘says to me that child abuse does not matter’, a sentiment that she echoed again during her Today appearance.
‘[It is] very disappointing nobody from the Department of Justice came,’ she said.
‘To me that sends the message that they didn’t think it was worth their time, which is really concerning.’
She also demanded more ‘explanations’ from the FBI – which is overseen by the DoJ – about the retirement and firing of two agents who were responsible for the handling of the Nassar abuse when it was first reported, insisting that their exits from the organization do little to provide the pedophile’s victims with assurance that this kind of failure won’t happen again.
The FBI’s handling of the case came under close scrutiny in a damning report by the Justice Department watchdog released in July.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report found the bureau made a series of failures in its handling of allegations against Nassar when agents were first alerted to the abuse in 2015.
Special Agent in Charge William Jay Abbott for the FBI’s Indianapolis office failed to formally open an investigation and then tried to cover-up his inaction by lying during interviews with the watchdog, the report found.
Abbott retired from the bureau in 2018.
Victims: Raisman attended the senate probe with Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols, all of whom blasted the FBI’s failure to take quick enough action against Nassar
All four women told the hearing that they know of athletes who were abused in the 13-month period between July 2015 and August 2016 when ‘the FBI did nothing’
It then emerged on Tuesday that the FBI has fired a second agent accused in the report of failing to launch a proper investigation into the allegations.
Michael Langeman, who worked as a supervisory special agent (SSA) and interviewed Maroney when she came forward with allegations in 2015, was ousted from his role last week.
In 2018, Nassar, 58, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for multiple sex crimes
Langeman did not properly document his interview with Maroney and failed to take action for 17 months, the report revealed.
He was removed from his duties as an agent following the release of the report before his firing this week.
Raisman now wants to know whether the ‘support’ she and her fellow gymnasts received at the hearing will lead to action on the part of the senators, saying: ‘The senators seem to be very validating and very supportive of us, which we are very grateful for, and my question to them is, “Can [they] help us?”
‘And can [they] get those investigations rolling for us?
Because [we have been] asking for years, and until we have that…’
Speaking about the retired and fired FBI agents, she said that their exits from the Bureau have raised even more questions for Nassar’s victims, asking: ‘Why did this person get to retire?
What did they do that the FBI felt was not okay that they had to let them go and why did they get to slip out the back door, just like so many others have?’
‘The retirements and people fired without explanation… the way I look at it, it leaves room for specula[tion] or guesswork,’ she added.
Recalling her own experience of being interviewed by the FBI about the abuse she endured at Nassar’s hands, Raisman accused the agent she spoke with of ‘diminishing’ the assaults – and even urging her to drop her case against the USAG doctor.
Star athlete: Raisman captained both the 2012 and the 2016 Olympic gymnastics teams. She won three medals at each Games, including two golds in London and another gold in Rio
Teammates: Biles and Raisman competed in the 2016 Olympics together – where they finished in first and second place in the all-around competition
‘The agent just kept diminishing my abuse and telling me that he didn’t really feel it was that big of a deal and maybe I should drop the case,’ she said.
According to the gymnast – who captained the 2012 and 2016 Olympic teams – she was told by former USAG CEO Steve Penny and the FBI that her interview needed to take place at the USOC headquarters, xxx italian porn movies despite her insistence that she did not feel comfortable speaking about her abuse at the location of an organization that had failed to properly protect her from it.
‘I was under the care of USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee so I personally didn’t feel comfortable being interviewed there,’ she said.
‘Steve Penny flew in the morning of my interview and I just remember I didn’t feel supported when I was going into graphic detail about my abuse…
and it happened more times than I can count.’
However, she says that when the same FBI agent who conducted her initial interview wanted to ‘pressure her’ into accepting a plea deal from Nassar, he readily flew to her hometown of Boston in order to have that conversation, despite declining her request to conduct all of their meetings there.
‘When it was convenient for the FBI agent, he flew in to Boston, even though I requested to have my original interview there with my mom there,’ she recalled.
‘When it was convenient for him and he wanted to convince me to take Nassar’s plea deal, or pressure me to take Nassar’s plea deal, he felt worth his time to fly to Boston.’
Raisman once again called for an independent investigation into the ‘interplay’ between the FBI, USAG, and the USOC, in order to fully understand how the three organizations handled the abuse scandal, both independently and as a group.
‘When [we are] talking about children being safe and sparing them from the abuse that I and so many others went through, in order for us to be confident this won’t happen again, we need a full and complete independent investigation.
‘We need to look at the FBI, USOC and USA Gymnastics, the interplay among all three organizations.
All three need to be investigated independently and we need to look at the connection [of] how all three work together.’
Aly Raisman says it took 14 months for the FBI to contact her for an interview after she reported Larry Nassar’s abuse and then ‘pressured’ her into accepting her abuser’s plea deal
Raisman, who was captain of the 2012 ‘Fierce Five’ women’s women’s Olympic gymnastics team that earned a gold medal, said it ‘disgusts me’ that they are ‘still fighting’ for accountability years later.
‘We are still fighting for the most basic answers and accountability over six years later,’ she said.
Raisman said authorities knew of at least six victims in 2015 but continued to serve ‘innocent children up to a pedophile on a platter.’
‘In 2015 it was known that at least six national team athletes had been abused by Nassar.
There was even one of the athletes that was abused on film,’ she said.
‘Given our abuser’s unfettered access to children, stopping him should have been a priority.
Raisman, Biles, Maroney, xxx porn full movie online and Nichols all gave damning testimony during the hearing – with all four accusing the FBI of allowing more than 100 children to be abused by failing to take action
‘Instead, the following occurred: The FBI failed to interview pertinent parties in a timely manner.
‘It took over 14 months for the FBI to contact me despite my many requests to be interviewed by them.’
When agents finally spoke with her about the abuse, Raisman said they tried to ‘convince me that it wasn’t that bad.’
‘I remember sitting with the FBI agent and him trying to convince me that it wasn’t that bad.
It’s taken me years of therapy to realize that my abuse was bad, that it does matter,’ she said.
As well as the FBI, Raisman said the USAG and USOPC also have a ‘long history of enabling abuse by turning a blind eye – both organizations knew of Nassar’s abuse long before it became public.’
Raisman told the committee she also felt ‘pressured by the FBI to consent to Nassar’s plea deal.’
The former gymnast called for an independent investigation into the FBI, USAG and the USOPC so that ‘from there, then we will know the answers of who should be held accountable.’
Simone Biles says FBI ‘failed’ Larry Nassar victims and says the abuse took its toll in the delayed Tokyo Olympics as she was forced to live with ‘the reminders of this story for another 365 days’
Simone Biles said she was failed by the FBI, USA Gymnastics (USAG) and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) in their handling of Nassar’s abuse.
She demanded ‘answers’, saying she fears the same thing could happen to athletes in the future.
‘I sit before you today to raise my voice so that no little girl must endure what I, the athletes at this table and the countless others needlessly suffered under Nassar’s guise of medical treatment – which we continue to endure to today,’ she said.
‘We have been failed and we deserve answers.
Nassar is where he belongs but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable.
‘If they are not, I am convinced that this will continue to happen to others across Olympic sports.’
Simone Biles broke down in tears as she gave her testimony during the senate probe hearing
Biles, 24, said she was failed by the FBI, USAG and the USOC in their handling of Nassar’s abuse and demanded ‘consequences’ for those who ‘allowed the predator to harm children’
Biles testified that, after reading the watchdog report, ‘it truly feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us and went out of its way to protect USAG and USOPC.’
‘A message needs to be sent.
If you allow a predator to harm children, the consequences will be swift and severe,’ she said.
Biles also testified about the toll the abuse had taken on her including most recently in the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer, where she pulled out of five final events for mental health reasons.
She told the committee how the delay to the Games due to COVID-19 meant she had ‘another 365 days’ of training in the gym and being reminded of the abuse.
‘As the lone competitor in 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,’ she said.
‘This meant I would be going to the gym, to training, to therapy, living daily among the reminders of this story for another 365 days.’
The athlete said she felt the ‘burden’ most when she traveled to Tokyo without the support of her family amid COVID-19 restrictions.
McKayley Maroney reveals FBI agents asked her if Larry Nassar ‘helped me’ when he molested her the first time she met the doctor and asked ‘is that all?’ as she broke down in tears during three-hour 2015 interview that they failed to document
Maroney testified how she spoke to FBI agents for three hours in the summer of 2015 telling them her ‘entire story of abuse’ but they failed to take action – not reporting it for more than a year and, when they did, they made ‘entirely false claims about what I said.’
Maroney, who took home gold and silver medals at the 2012 Olympics, said 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.
‘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.’
She recounted how she had not even confided in her mother at this point but told the agents in ‘extreme detail’ over the phone about multiple incidents of abuse.
McKayla Maroney testified how she spoke to FBI agents for three hours in the summer of 2015 telling them her ‘entire story of abuse’ but they failed to take action
‘I was too sick to go to anyone in person and speaking about the abuse would give me PTSD for days,’ she said, adding that she sat on ‘my bedroom floor for three hours’ speaking on the phone about the abuse.
‘I disclosed all the molestations in extreme detail,’ she said.
Maroney testified that the agent asked if Nassar ‘helped me’ when he inserted his fingers into her vagina during their first meeting when she was sent to him with a sports injury.
‘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 immediately 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. If you beloved this posting and you would like to obtain a lot more information relating to xxx porn full movie online kindly go to our own internet site. ‘
‘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 described breaking down in tears on the phone as she went into graphic detail about the abuse only for the agents to ‘minimize and disregard’ her experience and ask: ‘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.
‘To have my abuse be minimized and disregarded by the people who were supposed to protect me, just to feel like my abuse was not enough…
Maroney joined Biles in calling for the federal agents responsible for ignoring Nassar’s crimes to be indicted on charges.
‘They had legal, legitimate evidence of child abuse and did nothing.
If they’re not going to protect me, I want to know who are they trying to protect?’ she told lawmakers.
She added that the falsification of her statement on the abuse is ‘an obvious crime’ and questioned by the DOJ was refusing to prosecute the agents involved.
‘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. Yet no recourse has been taken against them. The Department of Justice refused to prosecute these individuals. Why?’ she said.
‘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.’
She added: ‘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.’
Nichols, who was the very first victim to report the abuse suffered at the hands of Nassar, said the FBI took more than a year to contact her after she first reported it and that – six years on from making her first complaint – she is still waiting for ‘answers.’
She also testified that USA Gymnastics tried to cover up the abuse as well, telling her to ‘keep quiet.’
After I reported my abuse to USA Gymnastics, my family and I were told by their former president, Steve Penny, to keep quiet and not say anything that could hurt the FBI investigation,’ she said.
‘We now know there was no real FBI investigation occurring.
While my complaints [were] with the FBI, Larry Nassar continued to abuse women and girls.’
Nichols said she was first abused by Nassar when she was just 15 and told how the predator also sent her messages on social media about her appearance.