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Former Olympic coach John Geddert dies by suicide after charges announced against him

Former Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert under investigation
Posted at 1:04 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 16:31:52-05

A former U.S. Olympic gymnastics coach who had ties to Larry Nassar is dead after being charged with human trafficking, sexual assault and other felony charges by the Michigan Attorney General's Office.

John Geddert was charged with 14 counts of human trafficking, six counts of human trafficking of a minor, one count of first-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree sexual assault, racketeering, and lying to a peace officer.

Geddert died by suicide Thursday afternoon, according to 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," wrote Nessel in a statement.

No other details have been released regarding his death.

Note: If you are in crisis, or know someone who needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

According to the charging documents, Geddert injured young athletes through forced labor and recruited them for forced labor.

Geddert was the head coach of the gold medal-winning 2012 U.S. Women's Olympic Gymnastics Team, for which Nassar was the team doctor. Nassar also worked at Geddert's gym in Lansing, Twistars, where many victims were abused.

The investigation started back in 2018 when the Eaton County Sheriff's Office said complaints were filed against Geddert in the wake of the Nassar cases. According to the sheriff's office, people in 2018 came forward with complaints against Geddert. In January 2020, the AG's office executed a search warrant at Geddert's home.

During the sentencing for Nassar, some of the young athletes said that Geddert was abusive, and one alleged that Geddert was aware of Nassar's "inappropriate procedure" in the late 1990s when she was 16.

Geddert has said he had "zero-knowledge" of Nassar's crimes.

Watch AG announce Geddert's charges

Breakdown of the charges

According to the felony complaint, Geddert "did knowingly subject or attempt to subject another person to forced labor or services by causing or threatening to cause physical harm to another person and it caused another person injury."

The complaint said that Geddert did that involving 15 different victims during various times between 2008 and 2018.

Under the six counts of human trafficking of a minor, the complaint said Geddert "did knowingly recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide or obtain a minor for forced labor or services."

It alleges that Geddert did that to six different victims ranging from 2015-2018.

The complaint also alleges that Geddert, in January 2012, sexually assaulted and penetrated a victim between the ages of 13 and 16, and coerced the victim to submit to his authority, which is first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

That same victim is listed under the second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge in January 2013, allegedly engaging in sexual contact with the victim.

The state also alleges that in 2016, Geddert lied to a Michigan State Police Officer about the Nassar investigation, saying that Nassar had a limited role at Twistars and that he had never heard of anyone complain about Nassar's treatments.

This story was originally published by staff at WXYZ.