John Geddert commits suicide after felony charge: Ex-U.S. Gymnastics Coach faced human trafficking and sexual assault charges

 

On Thursday, John Geddert, who was an ex-U.S.A. gymnastics coach killed himself, a few hours after he was charged with twenty four crimes. He faced allegations of physically, emotionally and sexually abusing gymnasts under his charge. The 63-year old former U.S. gymnastics coach was supposed to be arraigned in Eaton County, Michigan at 2.15 p.m. on the same day.

 

The Attorney General of Michigan, Dana Nessel confirmed the news and the state police also confirmed that Geddert’s body was found at 3:24 p.m. ET, on Thursday, at an interstate highway rest stop.

 

Kelly Rosman McKinney, Nessel’s spokeswoman said that they were no signs that Geddert would flee, or would hurt himself or others. The office had been in contact with his attorney and had been assured of cooperation.

 

Michigan state officials said that he was charged with two dozen felonies. These included 20 counts of human trafficking and forced labor, one count of first degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree sexual assault, racketeering and lying to a police officer.

 

Geddert became a national figure in the early aught. He was the U.S. national team coach for the London Olympics in 2012. He traveled internationally with his team and allegedly abused them during those trips.

 

In February 2018, investigations into Geddert began, after complaints were made against him, during the sentencing of Larry Nassar, a physician and one of the worst abusers in sports history.

 

 

The gymnastics community had believed that Geddert had been one of Nassar’s chief enablers. He was suspended in January 2018, during Nassar’s trial in January 2018. A huge number of former gymnasts publicly complained that his coaching style was abusive during Nassar’s sentencing hearing.

 

After he was suspended, Geddert announced his retirement. In the same year he transferred ownership of Twistars U.S.A., his gym to his wife and coaching partner. The gym was sold and new owners are in charge from early this month.

 

On Thursday, one of the gymnasts Lindsey Hull, who competed under the name Lindsey Lemke, said that Geddert took the easy way out after hearing the news that he committed suicide. She added “The case is considered done, but we’ll never have an actual ending,” while commenting on the immense work put in by the AG’s office to bring the abuser to justice.


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