After an investigation was opened by the FBI regarding Larry Nassar's then-alleged sexual abuse, Nassar continued to abuse at least 40 girls and young women before being taken into custody more than a year later, reports the New York Times.
The FBI was first notified in July 2015. At the time, the report listed three victims, two of which were not interviewed by agents assigned to the case for nearly a year. "I never got a phone call from the police or the FBI," Gina Nichols, the mother of gymnast Maggie Nichols, said. It was their initial information that sparked the federal inquiry. "Not one person. Not one. Not one. Not one." Now, the Nassar's accusers number 265 and counting.
According to the New York Times, information collected by the FBI included instructional videos of Nassar's unusual treatment methods which show his ungloved hands working around the private areas of girls as they are lying facedown on tables. The paper suggests that it was the FBI's inert pace that allowed the abuse to continue unnecessarily.
As the investigation continued across three cities in Texas, Michigan, and Indiana. All the while, Dr. Nassar continued his uncommon treatment techniques on young patients. They were not notified of the investigation or the allegations lodged against him. The consequence of that silence was that dozens more girls and young women were exposed to Nassar's abuse.
Officials at USA Gymnastics were made aware of Nassar's inappropriate techniques in June 2015 after Maggie Nichols' personal coach, Sarah Jantzi, overheard an alarming conversation Nichols' was having with another gymnast about "treatment" she received from Nassar. The then-president of USA Gymnastics urged Nichols' mother to remain quiet as the organization reported it to law enforcement. Weeks passed without it being reported. It wasn't until 41 days after they were made aware of the sexual abuse that gymnastics officials contacted the FBI.
It was at this time that gymnastics officials turned over videos of Nassar demonstrating his treatment techniques, one of which was called an "intravaginal adjustment." W. Jay Abbott, a special agent in charge of the FBI bureau in Indianapolis at the time, recalled his colleague's reactions to the videos. "At the time, it was being portrayed as a legitimate medical procedure. But to the layman, like ourselves, we were — 'You’ve got to be kidding me.'"
The next day, Nassar was quietly relieved of his position with U.S.A. Gymnastics. According to a statement issued after the fact, the organization was under the impression that "it should not take any action nor communicate anything that might interfere with the F.B.I.'s investigation."
It wasn't until an investigation by the Indianapolis Star in September 2016 that Nassar was exposed for what he really was. During that time, Nassar treated some of the youngest among the 265 accusers. He has now been convincted and sentenced to 175 years in prison.
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