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Former USA Gymnastics Coach Dies By Suicide After Being Charged With 'Human Trafficking' & 'Sexual' Offenses

Former US Gymnastics Coach Dies By Suicide Suicide After Being Charged With ‘Human Trafficking’ & ‘Sexual’ Offenses

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

John Geddert, a former USA Gymnastics coach, died by suicide suicide soon after being charged with 24 criminal offenses Thursday. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel confirmed the news, writing:

“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.”

Related: Aly Raisman & Simone Biles Call Out ‘Cover Up’ Of Sexual Abuse Settlement

The 63-year-old died hours after he was charged with 20 counts of human trafficking and forced labor resulting in injury, one count of racketeering, two counts of criminal sexual conduct, and one count of lying to the police, which he is claimed to have done during the infamous Larry Nassar investigation in 2016. When filing, Nessel shared:

“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.”

The statement continued:

“The charges against Mr. Geddert are the result of a great deal of hard work by my investigators and prosecutors […] 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.”

Unfortunately, no justice will be served as Geddert failed to turn himself into the Eaton County Sherriff’s Office when he was scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday. He was found dead later that afternoon. With connections to Nassar, who is currently serving 175 years in prison after he pled guilty to abusing 10 minors, Geddert owned Twistars USA Gymnastics Club in Dimondale, Michigan where many young athletes were allegedly sexually abused by the gymnastics team doctor. Assistant Attorney General Danielle Hagaman-Clark said on Thursday:

“Mr. Geddert knew that Nassar was sexual abusing these patients and that he failed to take action. And that when he was asked about it by police officers during the 2016 investigation into Nassar, he lied about that.”

Truly awful. Aly Raisman, an Olympian who has been at the forefront of testifying against Nassar, acknowledged the charges, tweeting:

“As a minor on the National Team, I frequently had to travel (without my parents) under the supervision of USA Gymnastics. The ‘responsible’ adults included John Geddert, Marvin Sharpe, Steve Penny, and Larry Nassar.”

Related: James Franco Reaches Settlement In Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit 

The 26-year-old added:

“For an organization that has claimed for the past 15+ years that ‘athlete safety is the No. 1 priority,’ it’s impossible to imagine a greater failure. This is & has always been bigger than John Geddert, Marvin Sharpe, Steve Penny, and Larry Nassar.”

Sending love to all survivors today. And may we continue to fight for real change among organizations such as USA Gymnastics to assure more youth can safely participate in sports without the fear and trauma of abuse.

[Image via The Gymnastics Coach | John Geddert/YouTube]

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Feb 26, 2021 10:45am PDT