Former US Olympic Gymnastics Coach John Geddert Found Dead Amid Sexual Assault Allegations
John Geddert has been found dead, reportedly taking his own life after sexual assault and human trafficking charges were filed against him.
Geddert, who was 63 at the time of his passing, was in charge of the US women's Olympics gymnastics team during the 2012 Games in London.
America's 'Fierce Five' squad - which consisted of Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber -ended up clinching gold in 2012 under Geddert's guidance.
But in recent months, a number of serious allegations against the ex-coach have been made by the athletes themselves.
According to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Geddert was facing a total of 24 felony charges for sexual assaults against girls as young as 13.
With pressure from the public mounting, the ex-coach was expected to hand himself in to local police but was instead found dead this morning with TMZ Sport confirming the cause of death to be from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life," Attorney General Nessel said in a statement.
"This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved.
"These allegations focus around multiple acts of verbal, physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant against multiple young women. I am grateful for these survivors coming forward to cooperate with our investigation and for bravely sharing their stories."
All routes in this truly sad story seem to lead back to one person.
Former US gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was convicted of multiple accounts of sexual misconduct including contact with minors, rape and possession of child pornography.
He was slapped with a 300-year jail sentence after over 250 former gymnasts came forward and publicly testified against him.
During that powerful trial where every woman recounted their horror experiences with Nassar, another name was mentioned a few times too.
John Geddert had also been accused of abusive behaviour, despite claiming to have "zero knowledge" of Nassar's dispicable crimes.
And while they may not have directly worked together during their time at USA Gymnastics, it turns out Geddert used to own a Michigan State University training facility where Nassar operated as a doctor.
Geddert's abuse, like so much, was never a secret. EVER.
In my memoir I wrote about knowing of it even as a club level gymnast in 2000. Because we have to grapple with the reality that it was known, and no one stopped him. It was known, and he was promoted and given more power. https://t.co/CVmb8kDWr7
- Rachael Denhollander (@R_Denhollander) February 25, 2021
Rachael Denhollander, who appeared in the Netflix series 'Athlete A', was the first person to come forward and accuse Nassar of sexual abuse back in 2016
In the wake of Geddert's suicide, Denhollander took to social media to share her thoughts.
"Geddert's abuse, like so much, was never a secret. EVER," she tweeted.
"In my memoir I wrote about knowing of it even as a club level gymnast in 2000. Because we have to grapple with the reality that it was known, and no one stopped him. It was known, and he was promoted and given more power."
Criminal charges filed against John Geddert include:
- 14 counts of human trafficking, forced labor causing injury, a 15-year felony;
- Six counts of human trafficking of a minor for forced labor, a 20-year felony;
- One count of continuing criminal enterprise, a 20-year felony;
- One count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a life offense felony;
- One count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year felony; and
- One count of lying to a peace officer during a violent crime investigation, a four-year felony
Featured Image Credit: PA
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