AMERICA — On Thursday, February 25, former Olympics gymnastics coach John Geddert died by suicide in Eaton County, Michigan after being criminally charged with 24 counts by the office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
According to the Twitter account of Michigan State Police, Geddert’s body was found “by troopers at the rest area on EB I-96 in Clinton County at 3:24 p.m.” and added that an investigation is “ongoing” with no further details being revealed “at this time.”
Nessel released a statement by her office after the news broke:
“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.”
Before officially announcing the charges, Nessel said the allegations against Geddert “focus around multiple acts of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant against multiple young women,” according to a February 25 tweet.
She added: “I am grateful for these survivors coming forward to cooperate with our investigation and for bravely sharing their stories.”
Geddert was charged with 24 counts, which are, according to a news release by the Michigan Attorney General’s office:
- “One count of lying to a peace officer during a violent crime investigation,”
- “One count of continuing criminal enterprise,”
- “One count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct,”
- “One count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct,”
- “Six counts of human trafficking of a minor for forced labor,” and
- “14 counts of human trafficking, forced labor causing injury.”
Geddert, 63, was supposed to turn himself in on February 25 at the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office Substation and arraigned at 2:15 p.m. before Judge Julie O’Neill at the Eaton County District Court 56A.
The office of Attorney General Nessel alleges that Geddert “subjected multiple young women to an environment of continued abuse” and “neglected advice of medical doctors” except Larry Nassar’s.
The news release also claims that Geddert, who had ties to Nassar, “sold his reputation as an Olympic-level coach and promised to unsuspecting patients that he could turn his students into world-class athletes, allowing them to secure college scholarships.”
These charges come more than 3 years after Larry Nassar, who was a doctor for Michigan State University (MSU) and USA Gymnastics, was sentenced 175 years in prison in January 2018 for sexually abusing 7 young girls.
On the same day Geddert took his own life, Attorney General Nessel said her office will end the investigation into individuals who were possibly aware of allegations against Nassar due to MSU refusing to hand over documents.
In a February 26 tweet, Nessel tweeted:
“MSU’s refusal to comply with my request leaves me with no choice but to close this investigation in a manner that provides no real closure or justice to the people who deserve it. I again urge the Board of Trustees to seriously consider my request. In response to many of these comments, we did move to compel these documents be provided, but the court sided with MSU on the basis of attorney-client privilege and our legal remedies have been exhausted.”
On September 12, 2016, The Indianapolis Star was the first to exclusively report sexual abuse allegations against Larry Nassar. Since the article was published, at least 150 individuals came forward with allegations against Nassar.