BILES: “I blame Larry Nassar and i also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse.”
Simone Biles and three other Olympic athletes who were sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar provided searing and disturbing testimony at a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
At issue - how the FBI not only failed to respond to allegations of child abuse, but — according to the bureau’s inspector general’s report - altered a victim's statement months later to downplay that abuse.
MARONEY: “They chose to lie about what i said and chose to protect a serial child molester….”
Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney told lawmakers she felt betrayed by FBI agents, after they failed to investigate Nassar’s crimes, despite her telling them he had sexually abused her. Maroney recounted that abuse in graphic detail on Wednesday.
“That evening I was naked, completely alone, molesting me for hours. I told them i was going to die that night because there was no way he was going to let me go…”
Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman said the FBI’s delayed investigation allowed Nassar to abuse more victims.
"Giving our abusers unfettered access to children, stopping him should have been a priority...It was like serving innocent children up to a pedophile on a silver platter."
Wednesday's hearing comes after the Justice Department's Inspector General Michael Horowitz in July issued a scathing report which blasted the FBI for botching its investigation.
WRAY: "On behalf of the entire FBI, I want to begin by saying to the brave women who testified here this morning... I'm deeply and profoundly sorry to each and every one of you."
FBI Director Christopher Wray said when he found out about the FBI's failures in the case, he was "furious.”
WRAY: "I want to be crystal clear. The actions and inaction of the FBI employees detailed in this report are totally unacceptable. These individuals betrayed the core duty that they have of protecting people. They failed to protect young women and girls from abuse."
Wray said one of the agents who botched the Nassar probe has been fired, but he seemed share the dismay of the senators and athletes that no agents involved in the Nassar have been prosecuted.
Nassar was found guilty in three separate cases, with one of the prison sentences running up to 175 years. Prosecutors have estimated he sexually assaulted hundreds of women and girls.