Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and three other decorated gymnasts are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday regarding the FBI’s response to sexual assault allegations against former USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar.
In 2019, The Root reported that Biles was one of several athletes who expressed concerns about Nassar to USA Gymnastics officials in June 2015. Allegedly, the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office ignored the concerns and intentionally left Biles’ name out of the investigations.
From NBC News:
Biles, along with McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman, will appear on the first panel during a Sept. 15 hearing on the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Nassar. The second panel will include Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray. The four gymnasts will appear in person, according to an aide to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
In a 119-page report released in July, Horowitz said the FBI failed to, in a timely manner, interview victims who said that Nassar had molested them. The FBI’s Indianapolis field office made “fundamental errors,” Horowitz said, by failing to notify other FBI offices or state or local authorities.
NBC reports that Nassar, who was accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of young girls and women, is currently serving up to 175 years in prison.
The committee’s goal is to determine why the FBI office responded slowly to the first accusations, according to NPR.
In July, after the watchdog report was released, a bipartisan group of senators announced the oversight hearing into the FBI’s handling of the case, sharply criticizing the agency for its failure to prevent the abuse.
“The FBI’s gross mishandling of the reports of Nasser’s abuse led to more athletes suffering unimaginable pain. There must be accountability for this chilling failure to properly investigate—and false statements potentially intended to cover-up that failure,” Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said at the time.
This summer in an episode from her Facebook Watch Original docuseries, Simone vs Herself, Biles shared her experience. “I thought I was being dramatic, because I was one of the lucky ones,” she said. “I didn’t get it as bad as some of the other girls I knew.”