Olympic Gymnastics Coach Dies By Suicide Following Accusations Of Human Trafficking, Sexual Assault
Former Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert is dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Thursday afternoon, just hours after he was charged in Michigan with 20 counts of human trafficking, sexual assault, lying to a peace officer and racketeering.
Geddert’s death was confirmed by his attorney’s office as well as Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
“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,” said Nessel.
Geddert, the head coach of the 2012 US women’s gymnastics team at the London games, was a close ally of disgraced former team doctor, Larry Nassar – whose sexual assault of young gymnasts was ignored by Geddert, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The coach faced two sexual assault charges – one of first-degree sexual conduct and one of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, along with charges that he led a criminal enterprise, which Nessel said “applicable to the set of circumstances you’ll be hearing about when all of the evidence is produced in court.”
Press conference from before Geddert’s suicide:
“It is alleged that John Geddert used force, fraud and coercion against the young athletes that came to him for gymnastics training, for financial benefit to him,” she said.
Some of those athletes subsequently attempted suicide and suffered from eating disorders and self-harm as a result of abuse including excessive physical conditioning in training, repeatedly being pushed to perform when injured, extreme emotional abuse and sexual assault, she added.
In written responses to The Wall Street Journal in 2017, Mr. Geddert denied any knowledge of assaults on gymnasts by Nassar or anyone else, saying “I would have immediately acted on any suggestion that any of our gymnasts were being – or had been – abused by anyone.” –Wall Street Journal
Geddert’s charges all carried sentences ranging between 15 years and life imprisonment.
Thu, 02/25/2021 – 17:20