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AG: ‘It’s very disturbing, but not surprising’ FBI failed to investigate Nassar

Nessel wants agencies to work together on investigations
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 5:32 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is calling on agencies to work together when investigating sexual assault crimes.

She called the FBI’s failure to let anyone know about Larry Nassar’s abuse when it was first reported in 2015 “inexcusable.”

Nassar abused several girls up until his arrest in 2016.

“It’s mind-blowing. It’s disturbing. It’s agonizing and it’s horrific,” said Nessel.

A Department of Justice report showed the special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Indianapolis, Jay Abbot, didn’t properly investigate abuse by Nassar.

“You can’t just say he dropped the ball. Dropping the ball is a mistake. These were intentional actions on his part,” said Nessel.

The report showed Abbot didn’t let agents in Lansing know about the allegations in 2015.

Nassar was working at Michigan State University and was working with Holt High School athletes at the time.

It wasn’t until 2016 when MSU police arrested Nassar while investigating their own tip.

Nessel said she’s not surprised it took a year for Nassar to be arrested after the FBI was told about the abuse.

“It really tells the tale we’ve heard so many times now regarding this case and so many other cases. And that’s of sexual assault victims trying to speak out, making these reports and not being taken seriously,” said Nessel.

She said this investigation reminded her of the 9/11 terror attack investigation.

“What you saw consistently was that information that had come into different agencies and different places but nobody bothered to talk to each other to put all the pieces of the puzzle together,” said Nessel.

Nessel said there needs to be more training to make sure there will never be another Larry Nassar.

“So people understand what the process always, and I mean always, has to be when sexual assault complaints when they are filed,” said Nessel.

MSU and Holt Public Schools declined to comment about the FBI’s failure to investigate Nassar.

The agent who interviewed Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney was fired this week.

Special Agent in Charge Abbot retired in 2018.

Neither are facing criminal charges for their involvement in the investigation.

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