Angelina Jolie showed her support for U.S. gymnasts who testified before the Senate about the FBI’s mismanagement of sexual abuse allegations against their former team doctor Larry Nassar.
Elite athletes talked about the abuse they were subjected to and how gymnastics officials turned the “blind eye” to Nassar’s alleged crimes. In response, FBI Director Christopher Wray said he was “deeply and deeply sorry” for delays in Nassar’s prosecution and the pain it caused.
Jolie wrote a moving tribute on Instagram on Thursday, saying she was “honored” to meet the brave women who are fighting for accountability and change.
“I was honored to meet with some of the brave American gymnasts who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday,” the actor wrote. “I am honored for their courage and commitment to preventing future failures in investigating abuse. As Aly Raisman said in her testimony; Over 100 victims could have been spared the assault. All we needed was an adult to to do the right thing. ‘”‘
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“Sends support and respect to those and everyone who is reliving this trauma so that system reforms can occur. I was at Capitol Hill this week talking to senators about reauthorizing violence against women and FBI reforms, including better protection against child abuse. , non-biased collection of forensic evidence, trauma treatment and judicial training. “
In the photo Jolie posted, she poses with gymnasts Kaylee Lorincz, Maggie Nichols, McKayla Maroney, Jessica Howard and Aly Raisman, who all testified about how they were abused by Nassar while on the team.
The hearing is part of a congressional effort to hold the FBI accountable after several mistakes in the investigation of the case, including the delays that allowed the now-incarcerated Nassar to abuse other young gymnasts. All four witnesses said the known girls or women were abused by Nassar after the FBI was alerted to charges against him in 2015.
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An internal investigation by the Justice Department, released in July, said the FBI committed fundamental errors in the probe and did not treat the case with “the utmost seriousness” after USA Gymnastics first reported the allegations to the FBI’s field office in Indianapolis in 2015. The FBI has acknowledged his own behavior was unforgivable.
Wray blew up his own agents, who did not respond properly to the complaints, and promised the victims that he was obligated to “make sure everyone in the FBI remembers what happened here” and that it never happens again.
An FBI investigating agent who had not properly investigated the Nassar case and later lied about it has been fired by the agency, Wray said.
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Nassar pleaded guilty in 2017 to federal child pornography and sexual abuse allegations in Michigan. He is now serving decades in prison after hundreds of girls and women said he sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment while working for Michigan State and Indiana-based United States Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.
The lawsuit over the abuse may soon be coming to an end after U.S. Gymnastics and hundreds of Nassar’s victims filed a joint $ 425 million settlement in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Indianapolis last month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.