Critics Slam 'Infuriating' DOJ Ruling in Nassar Case

Department won't charge FBI agents accused of not properly investigating sex abuse allegations
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2022 8:18 AM CDT
Critics Slam 'Infuriating' DOJ Ruling in Nassar Case
Larry Nassar appears in court for a plea hearing on Nov. 22, 2017, in Lansing, Mich.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya File)

Two ex-FBI agents tangled up in the Larry Nassar case won't see charges brought against them by the Justice Department. The DOJ said as much on Thursday, noting in a release that, "after multiple reviews and analyses of evidence," it won't be pursuing a criminal case against former Indianapolis agents Michael Langeman and his then-boss W. Jay Abbott. They were accused of not properly investigating allegations against the USA Gymnastics doctor, reports NBC News. CNN notes this is the third time prosecutors have looked into and declined to bring charges against the pair.

The DOJ's decision "reflects the recommendation of experienced prosecutors," though "this does not in any way reflect a view that the investigation of Nassar was handled as it should have been, nor in any way reflects approval or disregard of the conduct of the former agents," the release adds. The department's inspector general last year put out a scathing report that found a massive failure on the part of FBI agents to look into complaints against Nassar, as well as declared the agents then lied about their actions to investigators. The IG report noted that, between July 2015, when the first sex abuse allegations were reported to the FBI, and September 2016, when the agency finally started moving on those accusations, Nassar had the chance to abuse at least 70 athletes.

The most recent review was launched in October, based on new information that reportedly surfaced. John Manly, an attorney for some of the victims, calls the DOJ's ruling a "complete failure," per NBC. The "infuriating" decision is getting flak from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill, too. "FBI agents who knew of Larry Nassar's abuse, did nothing, and then lied about it will face no legal consequences for their actions," a joint statement from Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal and GOP Sen. Jerry Moran reads. The Wall Street Journal notes that Abbott has since retired, while Langeman was fired last year after the IG report came out. Nassar is currently serving up to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2018 to sexually abusing 10 patients, although allegations emerged against him from hundreds. (More Larry Nassar stories.)

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