It took a village to fail Larry Nassar's victims

News that the Justice Department's inspector general is launching an investigation of the FBI's handling of ...

Posted: Sep 6, 2018 7:22 PM
Updated: Sep 6, 2018 7:22 PM

News that the Justice Department's inspector general is launching an investigation of the FBI's handling of the Larry Nassar abuse scandal, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, means we can add a government agency to the list of institutions that may have unintentionally failed Nassar's victims. It took a while, but the second-round fallout from the #MeToo movement has begun: an acknowledgment that it takes much more than just a single sexual predator's criminal intention to perpetrate a decades-long abuse scandal.

Sadly, it takes a village. Criminals need accomplices, ranging from knowing participants, to passive enablers, and finally to procedural and cultural failings on the part of institutions. In Nassar's case, the former USA Gymnastics chief medical coordinator accused of sexually abusing more than 100 former patients in the guise of "treatment," the complicit liability runs deep.

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Larry Nassar

Sex and gender issues

Sex crimes

Sexual assault

Society

Sports figures

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Gymnastics

Investigations

Sports and recreation

Sports organizations and teams

US Department of Justice

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

USA Gymnastics

CNN reported that the inspector general's office declined to comment on The Wall Street Journal's report, but in a statement, the FBI said it was reviewing its role in the investigation.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the list of institutions -- including USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University and the US Olympic Committee -- that allegedly turned a blind eye to Nassar's actions, choosing to maintain the status quo over the safety of child athletes.

According to a Detroit News investigation, at least 14 Michigan State representatives received reports of sexual misconduct by Nassar in the 20 years leading up to his arrest. A Title IX investigation at the university in 2014 cleared Nassar of any policy violations after he was accused of inappropriately touching a patient.

Similarly, at USA Gymnastics, officials alleged the organization routinely dismissed sexual abuse allegations as hearsay if they did not come directly from a victim or the victim's parents. And even worse, Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney has alleged that USA Gymnastics engaged in a "conspiratorial and fraudulent attempt" to hide Nassar's "propensity to sexually abuse children, and prior sexual misconduct with children, from public scrutiny and criminal investigation."

Kerry Perry recently announced her resignation as USA Gymnastics' chief executive. Olympic gymnast and Nassar abuse survivor Aly Raisman had some choice words for Perry in her powerful victim impact statement during Nassar's sentencing for state sexual abuse charges in Michigan, reminding the official that "talk is cheap" when it comes to protecting children.

The most recent reporting indicates the FBI failed to act swiftly enough to save more Nassar victims after it received complaints about the doctor in 2015. In fact, nine months elapsed between when the FBI first received a complaint, to when it opened a formal investigation, according to The Wall Street Journal. The FBI's Indianapolis field office (where USA Gymnastics is located) reportedly contacted Maroney in September 2015 via phone, but that call did not lead to the opening of an investigation.

According to the Journal, the Department of Justice's investigation into the FBI's handling of the Nassar case could lead to disciplinary action as well as criminal charges. In the end, there will be many, many more people held accountable for the heinous crimes Nassar committed. And the department's investigation would shine a light on the policies and procedures currently in place at the FBI for the investigation and prevention of sexual abuse. If the reports are correct and there is an investigation, the hope, of course, is that a public accounting of how institutions, organizations and agencies deal with sexual abuse allegations makes it less likely a criminal scheme of this magnitude will ever succeed again.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 775686

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1066871814
Lake572681031
Allen43500701
Hamilton37653427
St. Joseph37508568
Elkhart29882471
Tippecanoe23732232
Vanderburgh23634405
Porter19690327
Johnson19020394
Hendricks18271323
Clark13730199
Madison13719348
Vigo12949256
Monroe12691180
LaPorte12645225
Delaware11218198
Howard10832237
Kosciusko9851124
Hancock8855150
Bartholomew8343157
Warrick8216157
Floyd8128183
Grant7457181
Boone7289105
Wayne7273201
Morgan6988143
Marshall6376117
Dubois6327118
Cass6130112
Noble607391
Dearborn605878
Henry6001111
Jackson520977
Shelby514898
Lawrence5020128
Gibson471697
Montgomery464792
Clinton462755
DeKalb461485
Harrison459277
Huntington429082
Whitley421045
Steuben414561
Miami411573
Jasper403957
Knox397291
Putnam388762
Wabash373884
Adams358956
Ripley354571
Jefferson351487
White341854
Daviess3110100
Wells305981
Greene298485
Decatur294393
Posey288235
Fayette287764
Scott285458
LaGrange278873
Clay277649
Washington257638
Randolph248583
Jennings243349
Spencer240531
Fountain239050
Starke231559
Owen226759
Sullivan224143
Fulton210446
Jay204132
Carroll200623
Orange194456
Perry193139
Vermillion183444
Rush179127
Tipton174348
Franklin173935
Parke157816
Pike144034
Blackford138732
Pulaski124748
Newton124137
Benton111615
Brown106743
Crawford106716
Martin92715
Warren88715
Switzerland8568
Union73910
Ohio58711
Unassigned0429

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1132798

Reported Deaths: 20530
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1312911496
Cuyahoga1180592268
Hamilton830231263
Montgomery541901064
Summit491891018
Lucas43982835
Butler40324615
Stark34056941
Lorain26232511
Warren25125312
Mahoning22881614
Lake21602397
Clermont20592261
Delaware19295138
Licking16977227
Fairfield16959207
Trumbull16940493
Medina16019278
Greene15721254
Clark14439309
Portage13548219
Wood13411201
Allen12124245
Richland11870214
Miami11140229
Wayne9344228
Columbiana9282236
Muskingum9207137
Pickaway8796123
Marion8774140
Tuscarawas8756257
Erie8220166
Ashtabula7318180
Hancock7080135
Ross7070165
Geauga7032153
Scioto6887108
Belmont6261179
Lawrence6033106
Union595149
Jefferson5787162
Huron5678122
Sandusky5536130
Darke5476131
Seneca5391128
Washington5391111
Athens528660
Auglaize510587
Mercer492885
Shelby487798
Knox4678112
Ashland450198
Madison450066
Defiance444599
Fulton443275
Putnam4366104
Crawford4152112
Brown414163
Preble3988107
Logan396379
Clinton395667
Ottawa378281
Highland370768
Williams361878
Champaign351760
Guernsey334054
Jackson324954
Perry300550
Morrow298544
Fayette291350
Hardin280465
Henry279067
Coshocton275161
Holmes2735102
Van Wert254465
Gallia254150
Adams253658
Pike247137
Wyandot236557
Hocking224163
Carroll203349
Paulding181542
Meigs153940
Monroe139446
Noble138739
Harrison115738
Morgan112024
Vinton88217
Unassigned04
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 79°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 79°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 79°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 79°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 81°
The heat and humidity builds into the region as we head into the weekend.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events