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FBI aware of misconduct allegations against Larry Nassar before arrest

Courtesy+of+Take+News+and+Creative+Commons++
Courtesy of Take News and Creative Commons

Courtesy of Take News and Creative Commons

Courtesy of Take News and Creative Commons

Casey Meadows, Contributing Writer

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After three weeks of court hearings, Larry Nassar was charged with 40 to 125 years in prison for sexual abuse committed over his many years working as the team doctor of USA gymnastics.

The ruling came over six months after Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography charges. Nearly 300 women came forward with information regarding sexual misconduct they suffered at the hands of Nassar dating back to 1992.

According to The New York Times, the FBI was aware of allegations against the doctor and investigated for a year, but the organization did not take any action. During this time, 40 women say that they were assaulted.

Along with serving as the USA gymnastics team doctor, Nassar worked at Michigan State University. Prior to the claims made by the Olympians, gymnasts at Michigan State accused Nassar of inappropriate physical contact during examinations.

Nassar was cleared of the allegations by the university in 2014 and was able to return to his duties, but was required to have a third person present when evaluating patients. During the spring of 2015, another coach overheard two athletes discussing the abuse and it was then relayed to Olympic officials.

The FBI first began its inquiry into Nassar in July of 2015. The allegations they received came from three teenage, female gymnasts on the United States national team. The agency found video recordings that showed him touching private areas of the women while they were laid face-down on a table. In these videos, Nassar would use medical terminology as he was molesting the young women to make it appear as if it was part of the procedure.

Despite this information, the gymnasts were not contacted for a year after their initial allegations. The FBI would not answer questions regarding the speed and details of its investigation. The organization instead released a brief statement about their priority to protect youth from sexual exploitation.

The accusers felt that the FBI didn’t want them to speak on the case after their initial allegations in 2015. During this time, no current gymnasts on the Olympic team or at Michigan State were informed of the ongoing investigations into Nassar.

USA Gymnastics would release Nassar from his position shortly after, but he continued to treat women at Michigan State. It wasn’t until these allegations surfaced to the public in Sept. of 2016, after The Indianapolis Star published an article on Nassar, that he began to experience repercussions for his actions.

The release of the story by The Indianapolis Star prompted 50 more women to come forward, which lead to Nassar being arrested in Nov. of 2016. It was not until 2017 that he would face his first conviction for possession of child pornography.

The Larry Nassar case first began in the spring of 2015. It was nearly two years from the time the FBI received sexual abuse allegations that he was convicted of his crimes. The sentences he faces amount to over 100 years in prison. Although Nassar will die while incarcerated, the emotional and physical effects his actions had on his victims will live on.

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FBI aware of misconduct allegations against Larry Nassar before arrest