FBI fires agent accused of failing to investigate Nassar sex-abuse allegations

WASHINGTON — An FBI agent accused of failing to properly investigate USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has been fired by the agency, NBC News has confirmed.

The firing of the agent, Michael Langeman, came after a Justice Department inspector general report released in July criticized him and his boss, agent in charge Jay Abbott, for their handling of the case. It said they failed to respond to allegations by gymnasts that they had been sexually abused by Nassar “with the urgency that the allegations required.”

Langeman was a supervisory special agent in the FBI’s Indianapolis field office when he interviewed Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney in 2015 about her allegations of abuse by Nassar. The inspector general report said that he and Abbott lied to investigators from the inspector general’s office about their actions and that they never officially opened an investigation.

When the report was released this summer, Langeman was no longer acting as an FBI agent, federal law enforcement sources said. An agent cannot be fired while an inspector general investigation is pending, and the probe lasted three years. Abbott retired several years ago.

The firing of Langeman was first reported by The Washington Post.

In 2017, Nassar pleaded guilty to abusing 10 of the more than 265 women and girls who have come forward to say they were molested. He is serving up to 175 years in prison.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday is holding a hearing about the FBI's handling of the Nassar case featuring testimony from Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles, Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was not leading the agency during the Nassar investigation, and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz are also expected to testify. Wray is expected to outline changes that have been put in place to ensure the agency conducts proper investigations into such sexual abuse allegations in the future.

NBC reported in July that Nassar still owes five of his victims nearly $58,000 even as he has had more than $12,000 deposited into his inmate account in federal prison. Earlier this month, court documents showed that a USA Gymnastics reorganization plan includes up to $425 million for survivors who say they were sexually abused by Nassar.

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