DETROIT — The U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday it will not prosecute former FBI agents who failed to quickly launch an investigation into sports physician Larry Nassar, despite the fact that he was accused of sexual harassment in 2015. to the gymnasts.

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The agency’s inspector general found that two former agents likely provided “inaccurate or incomplete information” when investigators subsequently tried to understand what happened, but more would be needed to bring charges, the department said.

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“This in no way reflects the view that the Nassar investigation was properly conducted, nor does it in any way reflect an endorsement or disregard for the behavior of former agents,” the agency said.

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Last fall, the government said it would reconsider an earlier decision to drop the charges. At the time, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco told Congress that she had asked the department’s newly appointed head of the department’s criminal division to reconsider the case.

Nassar was a Michigan State Sports Physician as well as USA Gymnastics Physician. He is serving decades in prison for assaulting female athletes, including Olympic champions.

In 2015, Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics told FBI agents that three gymnasts claimed that Nassar assaulted them.
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But the FBI did not launch an official investigation or inform federal or state authorities in Michigan, according to the Inspector General’s report.

Los Angeles FBI agents launched a sex tourism investigation against Nassar in 2016 and interviewed several survivors, the inspector general said, but also failed to alert Michigan authorities.

Nassar was finally arrested in November 2016 during an investigation by Michigan State University police.

In a 2021 Senate hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized to survivors of Nassar’s abuse, saying it was “unforgivable” that the agents “had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed.”

The FBI fired the agent; another retired. The FBI also accepted the inspector general’s recommendations.

Lawyers for Nassar survivors said more than 100 young women and teenagers were assaulted after the FBI became aware of the allegations against him. At least 13 of them are demanding $10 million each from the government.

John Manley, a lawyer for several survivors, said it was “inconceivable” that the agents and others would not be held accountable.

“FBI agents who knew about Nassar’s abuses, did nothing, and then lied about their inaction in violation of their sworn duties and the law, received a pass,” Manley said.