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  4. Aly Raisman says an FBI agent made her feel like the sexual abuse she faced from Larry Nassar 'wasn't a big deal'

Aly Raisman says an FBI agent made her feel like the sexual abuse she faced from Larry Nassar 'wasn't a big deal'

Kelly McLaughlin   

Aly Raisman says an FBI agent made her feel like the sexual abuse she faced from Larry Nassar 'wasn't a big deal'
  • Aly Raisman joined other gymnasts in testifying about Larry Nassar's sexual abuse to Congress.
  • She accused an FBI agent of attempting to downplay the sexual abuse she faced.
  • "The FBI made me feel like my abuse didn't count, and it wasn't a big deal," Raisman said.

Olympian Aly Raisman says that an FBI agent tried to downplay the sexual abuse she faced from former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

"The FBI made me feel like my abuse didn't count, and it wasn't a big deal," she said while speaking in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday. "I remember sitting there with the FBI agent and him trying to convince me that it wasn't that bad."

According to Raisman, in 2015 the FBI contacted her after 14 months of requesting interviews. She said she conducted her interview while at the Olympic Training Center and "under the control and observation of USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee."

"I felt pressure from the FBI to consent to Nassar's plea deal," she said on Wednesday in her opening statement. "The agent diminished the significance of my abuse and made me feel my criminal case wasn't worth pursuing."

"My reports of abuse were not only buried by USAG and USOPC, but they were also mishandled by federal law enforcement officers who failed to follow their most basic duties," Raisman continued. "The FBI and others within both USAG and USOPC knew that Nassar molested children and did nothing to restrict his access."

"Nassar found more than 100 new victims to molest," she added. "It was like serving innocent children up to a pedophile on a silver platter."

Raisman testified alongside fellow gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, and Maggie Nichols as part of a hearing about the FBI's failings in the Nassar case. She expressed anger on behalf of herself and the other women testifying that they are still seeking accountability in the case some six years later even though "a survivor's healing is affected by the handling of their abuse."

Raisman later detailed the lasting impact Nassar's abuse has had on her, both physically and emotionally. She said she remembered struggling to find the energy to stand up in the shower after first going public with her abuse. She would sit on the floor instead.

She "couldn't even go for a 10-minute walk outside" despite having been in the peak physical condition to compete in two Olympic Games just a few years prior. She often feels that her memory is impacted, too, and that her "mind isn't working" adequately and that she has "no energy at all."

She's 27 years old.

"Experiencing a type of abuse is not something one just suffers in the moment; it carries on with them sometimes for the rest of their lives," Raisman said. "I've often wondered, am I ever going to feel better?"

Justice, Raisman explained, would constitute "a fully independent, factual investigation."

"Without knowing who knew what when, we cannot identify all enablers or determine whether they are still in positions of power," she said. "We just can't fix a problem we don't understand. And we can't understand the problem unless and until we have all of the facts."

"If we don't do all we can to get these facts, the problems we are here to address will persist," Raisman warned. "And we are deluding ourselves if we think other children can be spared the institutionalized tolerance and normalization of abuse that I and so many others had to endure."

You can watch Raisman's entire opening statement below:

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