Former USA Gymnastics Coach facing multiple criminal charges dies by suicide

Collaborator: Rachael Schuit
Published: 02/26/2021, 1:06 AM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(LANSING, Mich.) John Geddert, a former USA Gymnastics coach and the former owner of Twistars USA Gymnastics club in Diamondale died by suicide Thursday afternoon. According to the Michigan State Police Twitter page, state troopers located Geddert's body at a rest area off of Interstate 96 in Clinton County. State police say they found Geddert just before 3:30 p.m Thursday afternoon. Geddert was supposed to be arraigned Thursday afternoon in Eaton County district court on 24 criminal charges filed by the Michigan Attorney General's office. Attorney General Dana Nessel released a statement in response to the news of Gedderts death. "My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life," said Nessel. "This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved." He was accused of committing at least one sexual assault and he was also accused of committing physical abuse against dozens of young female athletes that he worked with. The charges Geddert was facing included: 14 counts of Human Trafficking, forced labor causing injury, six counts of Human Trafficking of a minor for forced labor, one count of continuing criminal enterprise, one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and one count of lying to a peace officer during a violent crime investigation. Attorney General Dana Nessel's office claimed that Geddert used his coaching status to subject the young women he worked with to continued abuse. Geddert was also accused of subjecting young women he coached to forced labor or services under extreme conditions that led to injuries. Allegations against Geddert by Nessel's office also claim he used coercion, intimidation, threats, and physical force to get the young women to perform to the standards he wanted them to. The Attorney General's office also alleges that Geddert didn't listen to the advice of medical doctors. Nessel's office claims Geddert only listened to the advice of Dr. Larry Nassar, who was Geddert's team physician and in house medical expert for 20 years. Nassar was also a sports doctor at Michigan Sate University. He is currently serving decades in federal prison after being sentenced on criminal sexual conduct and child pornography charges. Nessel's office also alleges that Geddert made false or misleading statements to investigators when they were investigating Nassar for criminal sexual conduct. The Michigan Attorney General's office currently has an ongoing investigation regarding misconduct at Michigan State University. There have been multiple charges filed against not only Nassar, but also people who Nessel's office says had connections to Nassar's criminal behavior. According to Nessel's office, MSU still has not released almost 6,000 documents to investigators. In a letter to the MSU Board of Trustees on Wednesday Nessel said, "When this Department set out more than three years ago on this investigation, the Trustees stated, ‘only a review by your office can resolve the questions in a way that the victims, their families, and the public will deem satisfactory and that will help all those affected by Nassar’s horrible crimes to heal.’ Yet, if the Board does not consent, my office will be forced to close its investigation without conclusion, and you will have shut the door on the pursuit of justice."


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