John Geddert, a former women’s head coach for USA Gymnastics with close ties to Larry Nassar, has killed himself.
His death was reported just hours after the state of Michigan filed 24 criminal charges against him, including sexual assault and human trafficking.
During a press conference, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) announced the charges against Geddert, which “break down into 14 counts of human trafficking, six counts of human tracking of a minor and single counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, second-degree criminal sexual conduct and lying to a peace officer during a violent crime investigation.”
Geddert previously owned Twistars USA, a gymnastics facility where multiple victims of Nassar claimed they were sexually assaulted. After Nassar pleaded guilty in 2018 to sexually abusing 10 minors, authorities launched a criminal investigation into Geddert, and he transferred ownership of the gym to his wife.
The Detroit News noted:
Nessel emphasized the crimes alleged against Geddert were a result of his own behavior, which encompassed incidents between 2008 and 2018. The two sexual assault charges against Geddert are alleged to have occurred in January 2012 and involve a reported victim between the ages of 13 and 16.
Rachael Denhollander was the first victim to come forward and publicly accuse Nassar of sexual assault. Before Geddert’s suicide, she tweeted, “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.”
A spokesperson from Nessel’s office confirmed that Geddert had been expected to turn himself in to the Eaton County Sheriff’s Department at 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, but never arrived. Less than an hour later, it was reported that Geddert had killed himself.
Nessel released a statement in response to Geddert’s death, saying, “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.”