"It is important for our healing for all the facts to come out and for wrongdoers to be held accountable," the survivors said

By Georgia Slater
June 17, 2020 12:25 PM
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Five years after the first report of sexual abuse by former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was brought forward, more than 120 survivors are demanding answers.

On Wednesday, survivors of Nassar's abuse, including Olympic athletes Aly Raisman and Simone Biles, issued a letter to the Justice Department asking that the inspector general's report on the FBI's role in the scandal be released to the public.

According to the document, available online and reported on by NBC News, not only does the letter come on the fifth anniversary of the day a gymnast's abuse was first reported in 2015, but two years after the inspector general's FBI investigation initially began.

While the first report of sexual abuse was reported in June 2015, then-USAG President Steve Penny did not report these allegations to the FBI until 40 days later, the document says.

"According to court documents, Nassar sexually abused more than 40 young athletes between Penny's first contact with the FBI agent in charge of the bureau's Indianapolis office in July 2015 and September 2016, when Nassar's abuse became public," the letter says.

Nassar was fired by USA Gymnastics in 2015 after working with the organization since 1986 — he had been its national medical coordinator since 1996, the New York Times reported. He was fired from Michigan State in 2016.

AP/Shutterstock

In January 2018, he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 10 minors and was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.

According to the letter, the inspector general's investigation into the FBI's role in the Nassar scandal has not been publicly released despite it being "nearly two years after the OIG official leading the investigation told parties in the case that the investigators' report had been forwarded to the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section."

"Why is the Justice Department sitting on this report?" the survivors ask in the letter. "We do not want it withheld and then have authorities claim they cannot indict and prosecute the people involved in criminal conduct because the statute of limitations has expired."

"It is important for our healing for all the facts to come out and for wrongdoers to be held accountable. It is also important to maintain public confidence in our federal law enforcement agencies by exposing the truth and initiating reforms so that this never happens again," they continue.

The report being unavailable leaves "more than 600 known survivors of Larry Nassar's sexual abuse and the public" unaware as to "who in the FBI and the Department of Justice was responsible for failing to protect so many vulnerable children and young women from a known sexual predator," the letter says.

USA Gymnastics told PEOPLE in a statement that they have "fully cooperated with multiple independent investigations led by several congressional committees, law enforcement, and other investigatory bodies; and we will continue to cooperate. We are deeply committed to learning from these investigations, so that we can better protect athletes in the future. As part of that commitment, we would support the release of the OIG investigation."

The U.S. Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Stephanie Logan, a spokesperson from the DOJ inspector general’s office, told PEOPLE in a statement, "The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General is investigating the allegations concerning the FBI’s handling of the Nassar investigation, and the victims and the public should rest assured our findings will be made public at the end of our investigation."