The Federal Bureau of Investigation has fired the special agent who failed to investigate the allegations of sexual abuse first made against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar in 2015, The Washington Post reported.
Michael Langeman, who was a supervisory special agent in the FBI’s Indianapolis office at the time, interviewed gymnast McKayla Maroney about the alleged abuse in 2015, but a recent report from the Justice Department Inspector General’s office shows that the FBI did not investigate her claims and later lied to the OIG investigators about their failure to do so.
Nassar was arrested in late 2016 and eventually pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct, in which he admitted to assaulting and molesting multiple girls. More than 150 of his alleged victims testified in court that Nassar had abused them over the course of about two decades with the USA Gymnastics team.
The bureau said in July that Langeman had been removed from his duties as an FBI agent, which is what the FBI typically does before firing an investigator, which it rarely does. Langeman, the FBI, and the Justice Department Inspector General’s Office, all declined to comment to the Post.
An attorney who represents several of Nassar’s alleged victims, John Manly, told the newspaper that the firing was "long overdue," but said, "I can’t help but wonder if this is because of the Senate hearing, and the timing seems cynical."
FBI Director Christopher Wray and multiple members of the U.S. gymnastics team will testify about the abuse on Wednesday.
Manly added that anyone who took part "in what we believe is a conspiracy by the FBI, USA Gymnastics, and the Olympic committee to suppress the Nassar investigation should be criminally charged. The fact that Mr. Langeman perjured himself and lied to investigators, both of which are crimes, sends a message to others at the FBI that you can get away with it."
One person familiar with Wray’s thinking on the matter said that the FBI director, who was not in charge of the bureau in 2015, is furious about the way the Nassar case was handled "and wants to make clear that this is in no way acceptable, should not have happened, will not happen again, and is not reflective of the agency. Accountability is important to him, and he wants employees to know that they will be held accountable for misconduct."
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