US Gymnasts Criticize FBI's Investigation of Larry Nassar at Senate Hearing

Headline Roundup September 15th, 2021

Four top U.S. gymnasts testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday about the FBI’s investigation of former national team doctor Larry Nassar, who is serving the equivalent of a life sentence for multiple sex crimes. Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols called for accountability and said that FBI agents had falsified statements, delayed interviews after complaints, failed to properly report and investigate sexual assault allegations, failed to properly document evidence, and knowingly allowed Nassar to continue abusing minors. The gymnasts often cited a Justice Department OIG report from July on the FBI’s investigation. Days before the hearing, the FBI fired the agent involved in Maroney’s case. FBI Director Christopher Wray also testified at the hearing and apologized for the FBI’s “inexcusable” mishandling of the investigation. 

Most outlets across the spectrum prominently featured this story on Wednesday evening. Coverage was broadly balanced and supportive of the gymnasts regardless of the outlet’s bias rating. Coverage tended to focus primarily on one of the gymnasts, usually Simone Biles. Sensationalist language was also common, including “scathing,” “explosive” and “gut-wrenching.”

From the Left
2043

Simone Biles and three fellow gymnasts offered gut-wrenching testimony to Congress on Wednesday, describing the abuse they suffered at the hands of doctor Larry Nassar and charging the FBI “turned a blind eye” as he molested young female patients.

Biles blamed USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympics committee and the FBI for the long-running abuse by the doctor, who molested girl and women athletes under the guise of medical treatments. At times, the 24-year-old superstar’s voice quivered as she tied her mental health difficulties at the Tokyo Olympics this summer directly...

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From the Right
2043

Gymnasts Simone Biles, Maggie Nichols, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney shocked Congress on Wednesday, revealing details of the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar and blistering the FBI, which they say failed to act on repeated reports that American gymnasts and may have even covered up evidence of an abusive system.

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing examining the FBI’s handling of the Larry Nassar case, in which the four Olympic gymnasts — Biles, Nichols, Raisman, and Maroney...

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From the Center
2043

Star U.S. gymnasts offered stark criticism Wednesday of the FBI's handling of its investigation into sexual assault and harassment in the U.S. gymnastics program, prompting criticism from lawmakers of the Department of Justice.  

“We have been failed and we deserve answers,” Olympic medalist Simone Biles, widely considered the greatest U.S. gymnast of all time, said during testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The entire day of testimony was a difficult one for the FBI, which fired one agent involved with the investigation a week before the hearing. 

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