Cornyn on Release of DOJ’s Nassar Report
I released the following statement yesterday after the U.S. Department of Justice released its report on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe into Larry Nassar’s systemic abuse of Olympic gymnasts under his care:
It’s clear that there were catastrophic failures at multiple levels of law enforcement, including federal agents who should’ve taken action and willfully neglected to do so. This dereliction of duty is reprehensible, and those responsible must be held accountable. These survivors have inspired generations of Americans in the face of unspeakable trauma, and they have had to wait for answers for far too long. My hope is that they can now continue the healing process and those who failed them face a reckoning for letting a violent, abusive monster harm so many young women.
I sent a letter in June of 2020 asking Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz to release his report on the FBI’s investigation of Larry Nassar and the Bureau’s lack of urgency with his case. You can view the signed letter here and text is below.
June 2, 2020
The Honorable Michael Horowitz
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Inspector General Horowitz:
I write to request an update on the status of your Office’s investigation into the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s handling of an inquiry regarding former U.S. gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar. While several gymnasts, through USA Gymnastics, reported Nassar’s misconduct to the FBI in July 2015, many months passed before the FBI opened an investigation. In 2016, Nassar was indicted on multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13. He was later sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography charges, as well as 40 to 175 years for state sexual misconduct charges. According to news reports, at least 40 professional athletes were abused by Nassar in the time between the USA Gymnastics made its report to the FBI and when he was publicly named as a perpetrator. An investigation into the FBI’s delays was first reported in September 2018, but nearly two years later, the report has yet to be released.
The Scott Campbell, Stephanie Roper, Wendy Preston, Louarna Gillis, and Nila Lynn Crime Victims’ Rights Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3771, was passed as part of the Justice For All Act of 2004 and modified by the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. The Crime Victims’ Rights Act provides a set of rights for victims of criminal offenses, including the right to be reasonably protected from the accused, the right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay, and the right to be treated with fairness and with respect.
All victims deserve dignity and to have the crimes committed against them properly and fairly investigated. I am deeply concerned about evidence of the FBI’s lack of urgency, even as they were uncovering clear information that a predator continued to harm the athletes in his care. McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Maggie Nichols and Jordyn Weiber deserve the rights granted them under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, and that includes the right to the release of this report. I am especially concerned as officials apparently told parties to the case that the completed report had been provided to the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section more than a year ago.
Gymnastics has a powerful place in Texans’ hearts. I have always been proud to be a Texan and an American when watching such talented athletes compete on the world stage. What they suffered is unbearable. It can never happen again. Victims’ allegations must be investigated quickly, and their voices must be listened to. The release of this report is the first necessary step in determining how to move forward. I again reiterate the need for its speedy release.
If you have any questions, please contact Franci Rooney in my office.
United States Senator