26th February 2021

Suicide of ex-US gymnastics coach after being notified of sex crime charges

John Geddart, a high-profile former United States gymnastics coach, has committed suicide after learning that he was to face multiple charges of human trafficking and sexual assault. Police found the body of the 63-year-old, a colleague of disgraced doctor Larry Nassar, only 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.”

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. 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.

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 conviction.

• This article was originally published on Keir Radnedge’s internet site on 25 February 2021. Click here for the original.

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