Larry Nassar listens to statements ahead of sentencing by Judge Janice Cunningham for three counts of criminal sexual assault at Eaton County Circuit Court on February 5, 2018 in Charlotte, Michigan.

The FBI disregarded allegations of a prolific USA Gymnastics child abuser and subsequently made serious errors in the investigation.

The report found that a number of missteps and cover-ups by FBI agents continued her abuse for months after the case was opened.

In a statement Wednesday, the FBI acknowledged the findings, calling the handling of the Nassar file “unforgivable and a discredit to this organization.”

“We will take all necessary steps to ensure that the staff failures mentioned in the report do not recur,” the agency said.

The 119-page report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General found that despite the seriousness of the allegations against Nassar, the FBI field office in Indianapolis dragged its feet in responding.

In July 2015, following an internal review at Nassar, USA Gymnastics reported several allegations to the FBI in Indianapolis. After some “limited follow-up” that summer, the agency “conducted no investigative activity” on the case for more than eight months.

Faced with their mistakes, two FBI officers lied during interviews to hide their errors, the report said.

At the time the allegations surfaced, one of the FBI agents, Jay Abbott, was discussing a job with USA Gymnastics officials about a job with the Olympic Committee. Mr Abbott retired from the agency in 2018.

Mr Abbott’s lawyer, Josh Minkler, said in a statement to Reuters news agency that his client “thanks the law enforcement officers and prosecutors who brought Larry Nassar to justice”.

The FBI’s internal review of its handling of the Nassar case was launched in 2018 after the disgraced doctor was sentenced to decades behind bars.

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