After being accused of sexual assault and human trafficking, former US Olympic coach John Geddert committed suicide

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John Geddert, 63, led the women's Olympic gymnastics team in London 2012 (Reuters)
John Geddert, 63, led the women’s Olympic gymnastics team in London 2012 (Reuters)

Michigan agents found the former US gymnastics coach dead on Thursday John Geddert, who this same day had been accused of sexual assault, human trafficking, criminal sexual conduct, organized crime and among others. The man worked for several years in the same gym as the former doctor Larry Nassar.

“My office has been notified that the body was found this afternoon after taking her own life,” Michigan State Attorney Dana Nessel said in a message on her Twitter account. “This is a tragic end to a tragic story for all the people involved,” he added.

Geddert, coach of the women’s gymnastics team U.S in the Olympic Games of London 2012, He would have committed the crimes at his Michigan sports club, state judicial authorities reported Thursday. The 63-year-old man was indicted for physical, verbal and sexual abuse of a score of victims between 2008 and 2018 at the gym club he owned, where he worked as a doctor NassarMichigan State Attorney Dana Nessel explained early.

Several of the complainants, whose testimonies were key to the doctor’s incarceration, they had blamed John Geddert for forcing them to seek medical attention from Nassar. The coach was then the subject of a criminal investigation since 2018 as a result of the conviction of his partner. Soon after, he announced his retirement.

“John Geddert used force, fraud and coercion against young athletes who came to him to train gymnastics for financial gain”declared prosecutor Nessel this morning when announcing the charges. “Victims suffer from eating disorders, including bulimia and anorexia, suicide attempts and self-harm, excessive physical conditioning, being repeatedly forced to act even when injured, extreme emotional abuse, and physical abuse, including sexual assault. Many of these victims still suffer these scars from their behavior to this day, “he said.

Among the victims of this trainer, the case of a girl under 16 years old who was penetrated in January 2012 stands out, according to the complaint revealed by the news site NBC News.

  John Geddert with the American gymnastics team in London 2012 (Reuters)
John Geddert with the American gymnastics team in London 2012 (Reuters)

He was also accused of lying to the police and denying having had knowledge of the sexual assaults committed by Nassar in his club, Twistars, located near Lansing (Michigan). Geddert was scheduled to appear in local court on Thursday afternoon.

Nassar, a former doctor for the national gymnastics team, was the protagonist of one of the biggest scandals in American sport when it was known that he sexually abused more than 200 athletes over two decades, crimes for which he was sentenced in 2018 to between 40 and 125 years in prison. Following the investigation against him, the United States Federation (USA Gymnastics) suspended in 2018 Geddert, who immediately announced his retirement and denied having knowledge of the doctor’s crimes.

However, during the hearings of the Nassar trial, in which some 200 women, adolescents and relatives of victims presented their shocking personal storiesTwistars gymnasts reported having endured physical and verbal abuse by Geddert.

Amy Preston, mother of a victim, explained in court that her daughter was the victim of emotional abuse by Geddert and that this situation was exploited by Nassar to gain confidence with the young gymnast. “John Geddert he behaved as brutally as claimed, and Larry was so kind, a combination that turned out to be very toxic and deadly, “he described at the time.

Larry Nassar was sentenced to 125 years in prison (EFE)
Larry Nassar was sentenced to 125 years in prison (EFE)

Geddert He was also accused of making false or misleading statements to the authorities investigating Nassar, denying his knowledge of the crimes. The prosecution stressed that this was the only charge against Geddert specifically linked to Nassar and that, otherwise, “The crimes attributed to Mr. Geddert are his own.”

Following Nassar’s sentencing, the US gymnastics federation offered a compensation plan for a total amount of $ 215 million that was criticized by some of the victims, including Simone Biles and fellow Olympic medalist Aly Raisman, who called for an independent investigation to determine if others were responsible for allowing the abuses.

These cases weren’t the only scandals surrounding the successful American gymnastics team. In April 2020, former coach Maggie Haney was suspended for eight years for verbal abuse and mistreatment of athletes, who were forced to train even if they suffered injuries.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

The story of the horror doctor who will die in prison: Larry Nassar, the sexual abuser who marked the lives of 300 athletes
They trained Nadia Comaneci, created a culture of fear in US gymnastics and denied sexual abuse: glory and fall of the Karolyi marriage
Gymnastics Federation of USA offers 215 million dollars to victims of sexual abuse

With information from AFP

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