Former US Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert was found dead on Thursday after he was charged with human trafficking and criminal sexual conduct, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has said.
According to a release from the Nessel office, the women’s gymnastics coach was facing charges in connection with the sexual abuse of young athletes. The 63-year-old was expected to appear before the court on Thursday afternoon. “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,” CNN quoted Nessel as saying in a statement.
According to CNN, the gymnastics coach previously owned Michigan’s famed Twistars Gymnastics Club. Geddert had ties with disgraced former gymnastics physician Larry Nassar.
“It is alleged that John Geddert used force, fraud, and coercion against the young athletes that came to him for gymnastics training, for financial benefit to him,” CNN quoted Nessel as saying.
“The victims suffer from disordered eating including bulimia and anorexia, suicide attempts and self-harm, excessive physical conditioning, repeatedly being forced to perform even when injured, extreme emotional abuse and physical abuse including sexual assault,” he added.
Geddert, who was head coach of the 2012 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team, faced charges with 24 serious crimes including sexually assaulting a teenage girl