(HorizonPost.com) – Girls who seek a career in gymnastics face an incredibly tough road if they hope to achieve greatness or attend the Olympics. Many train daily for hours at a time, all while handling schoolwork and other personal challenges. When they report assault or abuse, law enforcement agencies should jump into action to ensure the perpetrators can never hurt them again. So, what went wrong in this recent gymnastics abuse scandal?
The FBI says it fired Michael Langeman, an agent working out of its Indianapolis office, for failure to properly investigate abuse claims. Langeman was in charge of investigating the landmark abuse case against gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Officials claim he essentially ignored reports and failed to follow due process, indirectly empowering continuing abuse.
— The Hill (@thehill) September 15, 2021
Nassar stands accused of molesting girls under his care over a time period the FBI says could stretch back to 1996. His victims include several well-known gymnastic stars, many of whom are now sharing their experiences in a very public way.
Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Maggie Nichols all spoke up during a congressional hearing on September 15. They accuse the FBI of actively turning a blind eye to the abuse, even after receiving reports from Nassar’s victims.
All four women experienced harm at the doctor’s hands.
These brave women aren’t alone, either. Officials suspect Nassar likely molested hundreds of women during his tenure as a sports physician. Most of the innocent athletes feared speaking up because the high-profile doctor could sabotage their highly competitive careers. Others trusted that Nassar’s “treatments” were a legitimate attempt to relieve their symptoms.
Doctors and law enforcement agents share a common mission — they both vow to serve and protect people from harm. It’s unconscionable for an FBI agent to be aware of a crime against innocents yet neglect to take action to prevent further harm. But is firing the officer really enough? Or is Langeman complicit in his own way?
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