LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Attorney General's Office has confirmed that former Olympics gymnastics coach John Geddert has killed himself.
“My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life," Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a written statement. "This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved.”
Michigan State Police are investigating the death.
Officials charged Geddert Thursday morning with 24 counts including human trafficking, sexual assault, racketeering and lying to police.
Earlier Thursday afternoon, an AG staffer confirmed that Geddert had not yet arrived for his scheduled arraignment.
Geddert, 63, formerly owned and coached at Twistars gymnastics club in Dimondale, Michigan, where hundreds of women say convicted sex offender Larry Nassar sexually abused them. Many said Geddert knew of this abuse, as Nassar had regularly treated young athletes in a back room at Twistars.
Geddert faced 20 counts of human trafficking and forced labor, one count of first-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree sexual assault, racketeering and lying to a police officer.
His alleged lies to police include:
- Nassar's role at as a team physician at Twistars
- Saying he had never heard any complaints about Nassar's treatment
- Denying he was aware of any athletes receiving intravaginal treatments at Twistars
- Saying males were not allowed in the female locker room
The human trafficking charges related to the forced labor resulting in injury to 19 athletes, all of whom are minors. One of the people has two charges connected to them.
The trafficking charges all are alleged to have occurred between 2008 and 2018. Geddert could have faced up to 20 years in prison for the six charges involving minors and up to 15 for the other 14 charges.
Nessel said during a news conference Thursday the charges allege Geddert used force, fraud and coercion against young athletes and put them through multiple acts of verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
Nessel said athletes who worked with him were subjected to excessive physical training and they were forced to perform while injured. Athletes also attempted suicide, harmed themselves and suffered from eating disorders, she said.
Assistant Attorney General Danielle Hagaman-Clark said the charge of lying to police is the only charge that directly ties Geddert to Nassar. That charge alleges he knew Nassar was sexually abusing athletes, failed to take action and lied to police when asked about it.
"These charges against Mr. Geddert are for his actions and his alone," Hagaman-Clark said. "(The charges are about) his behavior in his gym related to his coaching."
The two sexual assault charges involve a 13- to 16-year-old athlete. The victim is the same in both charges. First-degree sexual assault can carry a sentence of up to life in prison.
Geddert's charge of racketeering stems from the trafficking charges and allege he trafficked 15 of the athletes, known only by their initials, for financial gain. The listed address for racketeering is 9410 Davis Highway in Dimondale, which is the building formerly used by Twistars.
Geddert has been under investigation for three years, beginning almost immediately after Nassar’s sentencing hearings in January 2018.
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