John Geddart, ex-Olympics gymnastics coach, dies by suicide after being charged

John Geddert, the associate of Larry Nassar and former U.S. Olympic gymnastics coach who was charged Thursday with several felonies including human trafficking and sexual assault, has taken his own life, according to the Michigan Attorney General's office.

The AG said that Geddert died by suicide, calling it tragic.

"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."

According to FOX 2 Detroit, a law enforcement source said that Geddert's car was found at a rest stop in Grand Ledge Thursday afternoon.

Geddert had agreed to turn himself in on the charges and was supposed to appear for a 2 p.m. hearing in Eaton County to face 24 felony charges including human trafficking, criminal enterprise, criminal sexual conduct, and more. He never showed up.

The charges were announced Thursday by attorney general Dana Nessel against Geddert, who used to run the Twistars gymnastics club in Dimondale.

John Geddert was head coach of the 2012 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team, which won a gold medal. Nassar was the team’s doctor and also treated injured gymnasts at Twistars, Geddert’s Lansing-area gym for elite athletes.

Geddert, 63, is accused of turning the gym into a criminal business. He's charged with recruiting minors for forced labor, apparently a reference to the gymnasts he coached, according to documents filed in an Eaton County court, near Lansing.

No details were disclosed in the documents, but Attorney General Dana Nessel scheduled an afternoon news conference to discuss the case. A message seeking comment was left with Geddert’s attorney.

Geddert also is charged with sexually assaulting a teen in 2012. Authorities allege that he also lied to investigators in 2016 when he said he had never heard anyone complain about Nassar, who pleaded guilty to being a serial sexual abuser of female gymnasts.

Geddert has insisted he had "zero knowledge" of Nassar’s crimes, although some gymnasts said he forced them to see Nassar and was physically abusive. Nassar, who was a doctor at Michigan State University, was sentenced to decades in prison for sexually assaulting gymnasts at the school and elsewhere, and for possessing child pornography.

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During Nassar’s sentencing, a woman said Geddert was aware in the late 1990s that Nassar had performed an "inappropriate procedure" on her when she was 16. A prosecutor read that accuser’s anonymous statement in court.

Geddert was suspended by Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics during the Nassar scandal. He told families in 2018 that he was retiring.

On his LinkedIn page, Geddert describes himself as the "most decorated women’s gymnastics coach in Michigan gymnastics history." He said his Twistars teams won 130 club championships.

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But Geddert was often described in unflattering ways when Nassar's victims spoke during court hearings in 2018.

"What a great best friend John was to Larry for giving him an entire world where he was able to abuse so easily," gymnast Lindsey Lemke said. "You two sure do have a funny meaning of friendship. You, John Geddert, also deserve to sit behind bars right next to Larry."


White reported from Detroit. FOX 2 Detroit contributed to this story.