Larry Nassar, Nassar, FBI discussed on The Takeaway

The Takeaway


I'm melissa harris. Perry and this is the takeaway on wednesday simone. Biles michaela moroni maggie nicols and alley razman testified before the senate judiciary committee all champion gymnast. All are survivors of sexual abuse. Committed by the usa gymnastics physician larry nassar in two thousand. Eighteen pleaded guilty to sexual assault and is now serving up to one hundred and seventy five years in prison but he is not the only perpetrator who harmed the athletes. Here's simone biles. I blame. Larry nassar and i also blamed an entire system that enabled perpetrated his abuse an entire system. Now the purpose of wednesday's senate hearing was to determine the extent to which the fbi contributed to that system the testimonies publicly aired the shocking findings of the report from the office of the inspector general after receiving tips about nassar's abuse. It's more than seventeen months for the fbi to even follow up the special agent in charge of the indianapolis office j. Abbott actually interviewed for a job at usa gymnastics after hearing direct testimony. From a gymnast about being abused by nasser the pain suffering and anger of survivors was readily and righteously apparent. In these testimonies. Here's michaela maroney by not taking immediate action from my report. They allowed a child molester to go free for more than a year in this inaction directly allowed nassar's abuse to continue. What is the point of reporting abuse if our own. Fbi agents are going to take it upon themselves to bury that report in a drawer. They had legal legitimate evidence of child abuse and did nothing. If they're not going to protect me. I want to know who are they. Trying to protect nichols in sacrificing my childhood for the chance to compete for the united states. I am haunted by the fact that even after airport in my abuse. So many women and girls had to suffer. At the hands. Of larry nassar usa gymnastics and the united states olympic and paralympic committee. And the fbi have betrayed me. And those who are abused by. Larry nassar after i reported and ali razman over the past few years. It has become painfully clear. How a survivors healing is affected by the handling of their abuse. And it disgusts me. That we are still fighting for the most basic answers and accountability over six years later and it was simone. Biles who asked the question posed by rachel den hollander. The attorney retired gymnast survivor. Who i broke. Silence about now says abuse. How much is a little girl worth and with us now. Is rachel hollander. She's a speaker and author of the book. What is a girl worth my story of breaking the silence and exposing the truth about larry nassar and usa gymnastics. Rachel thank you for being here. Thank you so much for having me. What was your reaction to the powerful testimony from those champion gymnast. We heard from yesterday. I am incredibly proud of those women and what they've accomplished also an incredible wait to hear over and over again to sit with the reality that so many little girls could have been saved and the reality that we weren't just fighting an abuser. We were fighting an entire system and unfortunately this is the story that so many sexual assault survivors. No one i did come forward. The police in two thousand sixteen. I came with a thick file of evidence character. Witnesses and prior disclosures and my medical records and And actually illegal memorandum where. I laid out michigan law. I argued the case right there for the detective and the prosecutor and the reason i did this is because i was one hundred percent confident in twenty sixteen that this is what we would find that we would find multiple layers of cover up and corruption. Because this is the story so many sexual assault survivors face. It is incredibly difficult to get law enforcement to take reports of sexual abuse seriously and what we saw yesterday. is just is just a blown up. Image of what survivors go through every day and we have got to start asking a question how we hold law enforcement accountable for this kind of gross negligence and corruption and how we do a better job with our training our education and our cultural response so that this doesn't keep happening two little girls and women and little boys all over the country. Rachel as you talk about that file that you came forward with it at christmas. Is that why you went to law. School is that was that part of the motivation. That capacity to be able to advocate for yourself. You know it actually. Wasn't i decided to go to law school. When i was ten because i wanted to protect children But i can say that. The training was invaluable. I can't imagine trying to navigate the legal system and to fight the system. When you don't have that kind of legal training you know in the end. The only reason anything happened in our case was because we had an incredible detective. Detective andrew mumford. Who pursued an who pursued the investigation so quickly and she more in one month's time then the fbi managed to do in seventeen months and then we had an incredible prosecutor. Angela elitest who took our files and she said i'm gonna fight for every one of them and she kept her word but most survivors don't have that benefit and so to try to navigate our justice system without any kind of legal training. Not even knowing. What's normal what to expect and then to be fighting the detectives and the prosecutors the entire time is just an untenable situation for survivors trauma upon trauma for them that distinction that you just drew for us between the michigan law enforcement officials who you were able to work with you wrote about your wash your washington post piece. That in fact they did get more done than the fbi did in the same period of time where they did basically nothing. What does that at least to you about what was going on at the fbi. I think it's absolutely clear you know. In in the fifteen months between when there's four women first reported their abuse. And then when i reported my abuse. And that's and that's what made it hit headlines and actually blow up and that's what forced the fbi's handed to pretend that they have been doing something in that fifteen months they did essentially. Nothing and larry was in that exam room abusing little girls every single day but it was also fifteen months between when i made my police report and larry pled guilty and in that fifteen months andrea angela. Were able to process over one hundred. Police reports started title nine investigation in forty eight hours. Leary was out of the exam room permanently. They found the c. Sam on his hard drive is secured a plea deal that protected every single one of our voices and what that tells us when you put it side by side this can be done. We can fight child abuse. We can stop sexual assault. We can't stop abusers but we can only do it. We have law enforcement and prosecutors. Who want to do the right thing. Who are trained to do the right thing and who are motivated to do the right thing and we clearly did not have that. At any of the three field offices who.

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