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Former United States of America Gymnastics coach, John Geddert, committed suicide hours after dozens of criminal charges were filed against him. The Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel, said that she filed two dozen against Geddert in the afternoon hours of Feb. 25, 2021. A few hours later the former coach took his own life.
In 2012, Geddert served as the head coach for the U.S women’s Olympic gymnastic team. That year the team took home the gold medal in London. Geddert also owned Twistars elite training facility in the Lansing, Michigan area.
According to the charges that Nessel brought against him, Geddert was charged with several acts of physical, verbal, “and sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant against multiple victims.”
The Attorney General refused to give an exact number of the victims. However, she did say that the number was “less than 50 and they are all minors.”
The charges against the former coach are:
- One count of lying to a peace officer. This charge has a maximum sentence of four years — a felony.
- One count of first-degree criminal conduct. This is a life offense felony.
- One count of second-degree criminal conduct. This is a 15-year felony offense.
- One count of continuing criminal enterprise. This is a 20-year felony offense.
- Six counts of human trafficking of a minor for forced labor. A charge that is a 20-year felony.
- And 14 counts of human trafficking of forced labor resulting in injury. A charge that is a 15-year felony.
These charges were filed in Eaton County. Included in this county is Lansing. According to Nessel, Geddert had turned himself in for arraignment. In her statement, Nessel said the “allegations focus around multiple acts of” physical, verbal, “and sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant against multiple young women.”
She further stated how “grateful” she was to all of the “survivors coming forward to cooperate with our investigation and for bravely sharing their stories.” Geddert’s suicide has shocked many people.
Written by Sheena Robertson
NPR: Former USA Gymnastics Coach Charged With Abuse Dies By Suicide; by Brakkton Booker
Featured Image by Judy Shen Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License