Former USA Olympic head gymnastics coach with ties to Nassar dies by suicide following human trafficking charges



LANSING, Mich. — A former U.S. Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced sport doctor Larry Nassar died by suicide Thursday after being charged with two dozen crimes, including forms of human trafficking, the state attorney general said.

The announcement from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel came about three hours after a news conference where Nessel announced that John Geddert was charged with crimes, including sexual assault, human trafficking and running a criminal enterprise. The charges were the latest fallout from the sexual abuse scandal involving Nassar, a former Michigan State University sports doctor.

Nessel said at a news conference that it was her understanding he had turned himself in to law enforcement and would appear at a court arraignment about an hour later. The arraignment never happened.

Original story:

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— Mid-Michigan native and 2012 USA Olympic coach John Geddert is facing multiple charges including human trafficking, criminal sexual assault, lying to a peace officer and Racketeering. Those charges were filed Thursday morning in the Eaton County District Court.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel held a news conference to announce the results of the criminal investigation that led to the charges.

The attorney general will be joined by Chief Deputy Attorney General Christina Grossi, Acting Division Chief Danielle Hagaman-Clark, Criminal Trials and Appeals Division, and Assistant Attorney General Danielle Russo Bennetts.

Geddert’s charges include:

  • 14 counts of human trafficking, forced labor causing injury, a 15-year felony
  • Six counts of human trafficking of a minor for forced labor, a 20-year felony
  • One count of continuing criminal enterprise, a 20-year felony
  • One count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a life offense felony
  • One count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year felony
  • One count of lying to a peace officer during a violent crime investigation, a four-year felony 

“These allegations focus around multiple acts of verbal, physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant against multiple young women. I am grateful for these survivors coming forward to cooperate with our investigation and for bravely sharing their stories,” Nessel said. “The charges against Mr. Geddert are the result of a great deal of hard work by my investigators and prosecutors, and I would like to express my gratitude for their devoted service, as well as the cooperation and efforts of the Michigan State Police, Eaton County Sheriff’s Office and Eaton County Prosecutor Doug Lloyd and his staff. This case has truly been a joint effort by law enforcement and another example of how authorities at multiple levels of government can work together in pursuit of justice.” 

Geddert ran Twistars gymnastics club for many years and coached the USA Gymnastics team to a gold medal in 2012.

The “Fierce Five” – which included DeWitt native Jordyn Wieber – won the team competition at the London Olympics.

But Geddert’s reputation later came under fire because of his association with Larry Nassar, a doctor who was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of young women – almost all of them athletes – during his career. Nassar was also the Olympic team’s doctor in 2012.


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