Former USA Gymnastics coach John Geddert committed suicide after he was charged on Thursday with 24 counts of criminal misconduct, including human trafficking and sexual assault, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.
State officials confirmed the news to WLNS CBS that the coach died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 63 years old.
Geddert coached the 2012 U.S. women’s gold-winning Olympic team and worked closely with Larry Nassar, the disgraced physician convicted of multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct and child pornography that owned and operated Twistars USA Gymnastics gym near Lansing, Michigan, where Nassar also treated several gymnasts.
Geddert was charged with 14 counts of human trafficking and forced labor causing injury; six counts of human trafficking of a minor for forced labor; one count of continuing criminal enterprise; one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct; and one count of lying to a police officer during a violent crime investigation.
According to a news release, “Geddert sold his reputation as an Olympic-level coach and promised to unsuspecting parents that he could turn his students into world-class athletes, allowing them to secure college scholarships, the attorney general’s office alleges.
“Under the guise of coaching, he reportedly subjected multiple young women to an environment of continued abuse, in which he also neglected the advice of medical doctors – except that provided by Larry Nassar, who served for around 20 years as Geddert’s team physician and in-house medical expert at Twistars,” the statement added.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said at a news conference that Geddert “used force, fraud and coercion against the young athletes that came to him for gymnastics training for financial benefit” to him.
Author : Wendell Husebo