Two Indianapolis FBI agents accused of botching the Larry Nassar investigation will not face criminal charges, the U.S. Justice Department announced late Thursday afternoon.
The department had been reconsidering charges in the case.
A Justice Department report last year said the two mishandled the initial sex abuse claims against the doctor for Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, then lied about it during an internal investigation.
The agents include Jay Abbott, who was in charge of the Indianapolis field office when the first Nassar complaint was filed.
A Justice Department watchdog report says the Indianapolis agents failed to act, then lied to internal investigators about what they had done. The watchdog report recommended criminal charges.
The Justice Department had begun reviewing the decision after an explosive congressional hearing in 2021.
It’s the second time prosecutors have declined to charge the two agents.
Nassar is serving what amounts to a life sentence for sexually abusing girls and women.
“WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that after careful re-review of evidence gathered in the investigation of two former FBI special agents in connection with their involvement in the FBI’s investigation of Lawrence G. Nassar, it is adhering to its prior decision not to bring federal criminal charges.
“This decision comes after multiple reviews and analyses of evidence gathered in the investigation of the former agents, and reflects the recommendation of experienced prosecutors. 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.
“While the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General has outlined serious concerns about the former agents’ conduct during the Nassar investigation, and also described how evidence shows that during interviews in the years after the events in question both former agents appear to have provided inaccurate or incomplete information to investigators, the Principles of Federal Prosecution require more to bring a federal criminal case.
“We will continue to learn from what occurred in this matter, and undertake efforts to keep victims at the center of our work and to ensure that they are heard, respected, and treated fairly throughout the process, as they deserve. To that end, the department has continued to assess gaps in the law to protect the most vulnerable among us from exploitation. Addressing those gaps could help prevent events like this from taking place in the future and hold perpetrators accountable. We stand ready to collaborate with Congress to do so.”
U.S. Department of Justice news release issued May 26, 2022