A former American gymnastics coach with ties to Dr. Larry Nassar was charged Thursday with two dozen crimes, including illegal sexual conduct and human trafficking.
John Geddert, who led the U.S. women’s gymnastics team at the 2012 Olympics in London, was charged with 20 counts of human trafficking and forced labor resulting in injuries, one count of racketeering, two counts of sexual conduct. criminal offense and one count of lying to the police. , according to a Michigan state criminal complaint filed in Eaton County.
On the two counts of criminal sexual conduct, Geddert, 63, is charged with “sexual penetration” of a girl under the age of 16 in January 2012, according to the complaint.
“John Geddert used force, fraud and coercion against the young athletes who came to him for gymnastics training for financial gain,” State Attorney General Dana Nessel told reporters.
“Victims suffer from eating disorders, including bulimia and anorexia, suicide attempts and self-harm, excessive physical conditioning, being repeatedly forced to act even when injured, extreme emotional abuse and physical abuse, including sexual assault. Many of these victims still they suffer these scars from their behavior to this day. “
Several gymnasts publicly accused Nassar of sexually abusing them at Geddert’s Twistars Gym in Dimondale, Michigan.
Nassar, who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 10 minors in a Michigan court in January 2018, is serving up to 175 years in prison and is expected to be behind bars for the rest of his life.
The charge of lying to the police is related to Geddert’s alleged knowledge of Nassar’s crimes.
“Mr. Geddert knew that Nassar was sexually abusing these patients and took no action,” said Assistant Attorney General Danielle Hagaman-Clark.
“And that when police officers asked him about it during the 2016 Nassar investigation, he lied about it.”
Geddert turned himself in to Eaton County sheriff’s deputies Thursday morning and was scheduled to appear in court later in the afternoon, prosecutors said.
A defense attorney for Geddert could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
Geddert’s alleged victims have not been identified.
The 2012 women’s gymnastics squad was led by the “Fierce Five” of Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney, who won gold for the full team.
Douglas won the gold in the individual category, while Maroney took the silver in the vault and Raisman the bronze in the balance beam and the gold in the floor exercise.