Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today gave remarks at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the FBI’s failure to properly investigate former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar’s abuse of young gymnasts.
Senator Feinstein authored the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act, which was signed into law in 2018. The law requires amateur athletics governing bodies like USA Gymnastics and other amateur sports organizations to report sex-abuse allegations immediately to local or federal law enforcement, or a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department.
Full text of the remarks follows and video is available here:
“I welcome the opportunity to say a few words about this appalling abuse of young athletes and the failures of the FBI to protect them.
It was more than five years ago that we heard about the horrific abuse perpetrated by Larry Nassar and began working to reform how amateur athletic organizations handle sexual abuse allegations.
I’ve met several times with some of our witnesses – I believe two are here today – and other athletes who have been harmed by the conduct that we’re all here today to discuss.
The strength and courage that I’ve seen from these young women is really astonishing and a role model for others. They are really the champions for sexual abuse prevention who are speaking out to ensure other young athletes don’t suffer as they did.
Unfortunately, their bravery in some cases has been met with a disturbing lack of action within the FBI. The findings in the Justice Department Inspector General’s July report...found serious problems with how the FBI conducted its investigation of Larry Nassar.
The agency’s failures allowed a sexual predator to continue to abuse more than 70 young women. That is inexcusable, Mr. Chairman.
It should not be a survivor’s burden to continually seek justice and demand an end to their nightmares. That’s the job of our law enforcement agencies and the FBI, candidly, must do better. Hopefully this hearing will make that clear.
Now it’s our turn to take action on behalf of these women. Congress must do everything we can to protect others that come after them.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing. Hopefully, we can ensure that these failures are never repeated.”