John Geddert, a former coach for Team USA gymnastics who worked alongside Larry Nassar, died by suicide on Thursday, Feb. 25, after the Michigan Attorney General filed 24 criminal charges against him.
Pedo gymnastic coach takes his own life
On Thursday, Feb. 25, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released a statement confirming his death, hours after her office filed charges against him.
“My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life,” she said in a statement on Thursday. “This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved.”
State police troopers found his body at a highway rest area at 3:24 p.m. EST, Nessel’s spokesperson Kelly Rossman-McKinney told NBC News.
Earlier in the day, the Attorney General filed 24 criminal charges against Geddert, 63, who coached the women’s gymnastics team during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and worked with disgraced doctor Larry Nassar.
Among Geddert’s charges were 20 counts of human trafficking, including six of a minor. He also received one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (a life offense felony) and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
“These allegations focus around multiple acts of verbal, physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant against multiple young women,” Nessel said in another statement obtained by E! News. “I am grateful for these survivors coming forward to cooperate with our investigation and for bravely sharing their stories.”
John Geddert dead by suicide
Her office alleged that the way Geddert treated young gymnasts is considered human trafficking because the girls were subjected to forced labor that caused them harm.
“Geddert then neglected those injuries that were reported to him by the victims and used coercion, intimidation, threats and physical force to get them to perform to the standard he expected,” according to a Thursday press release from the Michigan Attorney General’s office.
The press release went on to allege, “Geddert sold his reputation as an Olympic-level coach and promised to unsuspecting parents that he could turn his students into world-class athletes.”
USA Gymnastics announced in January 2018 that it had suspended the coach, according to ESPN.
Following the news, USA Gymnastics told E! News in a statement, “This morning, we had hoped that news of the criminal charges being brought against John Geddert would lead to justice through the legal process. With the news of his death by suicide, we share the feelings of shock, and our thoughts are with the gymnastics community as they grapple with the complex emotions of today’s events.”
The AG claimed Geddert neglected the advice of medical doctors, except for that of Nassar, who has been accused of sexual abuse by hundreds of people.