John Geddert: Former US Gymnastics coach dies by suicide after human trafficking and sexual assault charges
John Geddert was coach of the women's team that won gold for USA at the London 2012 Olympics; Geddert had ties to former team doctor Larry Nassar, who was handed an effective life sentence in 2018 after being accused of abuse by more than 250 athletes - including Simone Biles
Last Updated: 26/02/21 10:13am
Former US Gymnastics coach John Geddert has died by suicide following multiple charges of human trafficking and sexual assault.
Police found the body of the 63-year-old, affiliated with disgraced doctor Larry Nassar, just hours after he was charged with two dozen crimes on Thursday.
Geddert was head coach of the 2012 US women's Olympic gymnastics team who won gold.
According to court documents filed in Eaton County in Michigan, Geddert was charged with 20 counts of human trafficking, one count of first-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree sexual assault, criminal enterprise and lying to a police officer.
In a statement, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said: "My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life. This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved."
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Geddert owned the Lansing-area Twistars USA Gymnastics Club for elite athletes where Nassar treated gymnasts.
The two sexual assault charges stem from an incident in 2012, court documents showed.
"These allegations focus around multiple acts of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant against multiple young women," Nessel said in an earlier statement.
"I am grateful for these survivors coming forward to cooperate with our investigation and for bravely sharing their stories."
Rachael Denhollander, the first gymnast to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual abuse in 2016, said she was proud of the women who stepped forward against Geddert.
"So much pain and grief for everyone," she said on Twitter after Geddert's death. "To the survivors, you have been heard and believed, and we stand with you."
According to the Attorney General's office, Geddert used his reputation as an Olympic-level coach and promised parents that he could turn his students into world-class athletes.
The Attorney General's office said that under the guise of coaching, Geddert reportedly subjected multiple young women to an environment of continued abuse, in which he also neglected advice of medical doctors except that provided by Nassar, who served for around 20 years as Geddert's team physician.
Geddert was suspended by USA Gymnastics in January 2018.
Former USA Gymnastics doctor Nassar was given two prison sentences in Michigan in 2018 of 40 to 125 years and 40 to 175 years for molesting young female gymnasts.
He is also serving a 60-year federal term for child pornography convictions.