The FBI mismanaged Larry Nassar’s case. Now DOJ Focuses on Victim Support
The Justice Department is asking prosecutors to coordinate with state and local authorities in cases where federal charges are not laid, as part of a massive new campaign to support victims of crime.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco outlined the new steps in a pair of notes on Friday, days before she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the reauthorization of the violence against women law. President Biden called the law one of the most significant legislative achievements of his long career in the Senate, and Monaco worked on the legislation as a young staff member before going to law school.
“When considering federal criminal prosecution, we must never forget the people who trust the department to keep them safe,” Monaco wrote. “Preventing violence or harm must be our top priority. Nowhere is this obligation more important than when vulnerable populations – including minors – are in danger. “
The note follows fierce criticism from the FBI for failing to do more to investigate disgraced former doctor Larry Nassar, who sexually assaulted Olympic gymnasts and hundreds of other girls and young women before being recognized guilty and sentenced to decades behind bars. The The Inspector General of the Ministry of Justice concluded that Nassar mistreated at least 70 victims after the FBI first received reports, but failed to act quickly or report concerns from local law enforcement authorities in Michigan.
Gymnast McKayla Maroney told senators Last month, after expressing her whole heart to an FBI interviewer about her abuse by Nassar, including details she had not shared with her parents, the agent replied, “That’s it. ? “
In a second note, Monaco announced that it would relaunch a working group for victims of crime and update the Attorney General’s guidelines for victim and witness assistance, which it said did not. not undergone a complete overhaul in a decade. She asked for recommendations within 120 days.
“The department is committed to protecting the rights of victims of crime and to treating victims and witnesses with respect in all our interactions,” Monaco wrote.
Early Friday in Monaco, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta attended a virtual listening session with members of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.