Former U.S. Olympic gymnastics coach dies by suicide after he was charged with human trafficking and intercourse crimes

A former U.S. Olympic Gymnastics coach died by suicide Thursday after he was accused of bodily abusing dozens of his younger feminine athletes and committing no less than one sexual assault, Michigan’s legal professional normal stated. John Geddert, 63, was anticipated to show himself in Thursday afternoon.

“My workplace has been notified that the physique of John Geddert was discovered late this afternoon after taking his personal life,” Michigan Lawyer Normal Dana Nessel stated in a press release. “It is a tragic finish to a tragic story for everybody concerned.”

Michigan State Police stated Geddert’s physique was discovered on the relaxation space off an interstate in Clinton County at 3:24 p.m. His demise is below investigation. 

When requested why Geddert was allowed to show himself in as a substitute of being arrested, a consultant for Nessel’s workplace stated that it was “customary process” and that they’d “no indication that Geddert meant to flee or damage himself or others.” 

“We had been in touch together with his legal professional and have been assured of his cooperation,” the consultant stated.  

Geddert coached the 2012 Olympic workforce to a gold medal, and previously owned a USA Gymnastics membership in Michigan. 

Prosecutors filed 24 felony prices towards Geddert on Thursday: 14 counts of human trafficking, compelled labor inflicting damage; six counts of human trafficking of a minor for compelled labor; one rely of constant felony enterprise; one rely of first-degree felony sexual conduct; one rely of second-degree felony sexual conduct; and one rely of mendacity to a peace officer throughout a violent crime investigation.

In courtroom paperwork accompanying the announcement, prosecutors allege that Geddert engaged in “sexual penetration” of a minor between the ages of 13 and 16 in January 2012. He’s additionally accused of participating in “sexual contact” with a minor in the identical age vary throughout the identical time interval. 

John Geddert
John Geddert seen in 2012.

Kathy Willens / AP

In explaining the human trafficking prices, the legal professional normal’s workplace alleged that “Geddert’s remedy of younger gymnasts constitutes human trafficking as he reportedly subjected his athletes to compelled labor or providers below excessive situations that contributed to them struggling accidents and hurt.”

“Geddert then uncared for these accidents that have been reported to him by the victims and used coercion, intimidation, threats and bodily pressure to get them to carry out to the usual he anticipated,” the workplace stated.

The workplace additionally alleged that Geddert made “false or deceptive” statements to authorities investigating Larry Nassar, who labored as Geddert’s workforce doctor for roughly 20 years. Nassar, who was convicted of molesting girls at Geddert’s facility, is serving many years behind bars for baby pornography crimes and molesting younger athletes. The workplace stated Geddert’s prices are unrelated to its wider investigation at Michigan State College.

USA Gymnastics stated in a press release that “we had hoped that information of the felony prices being introduced towards John Geddert would result in justice by way of the authorized course of,” including, “With the information of his demise by suicide, we share the sentiments of shock, and our ideas are with the gymnastics neighborhood as they grapple with the complicated feelings of at this time’s occasions.”

Sarah Klein, a gymnast who stated she educated with Geddert for greater than 10 years, stated, “John Geddert’s escape from justice by committing suicide is traumatizing past phrases. He tortured and abused little ladies, myself included, for greater than 30 years and was in a position to cheat justice.”

Klein stated in a press release that Geddert was “a narcissistic abuser,” and stated “his suicide is an request for forgiveness that your complete world can now see.” 

“As a survivor and a mom of two younger ladies, my solely consolation is within the information that I can relaxation my head on the pillow each night time figuring out that John Geddert won’t ever terrorize and abuse one other baby,” she added. 

Costanza Maio and Erica Scott contributed reporting. 

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