A little over three years ago, disgraced sports physician Larry Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting over 150 female patients over the course of his career, in a case that shocked the conscience of the country.
On Thursday, John Geddert, an ex-Olympic gymnastics coach linked to Nassar, was found dead of an apparent suicide, shortly after the story broke that he was to face a series of criminal charges that included criminal sexual assault, human trafficking, racketeering, and lying to police, according to Fox News.
Officials from the Michigan State Police reported that Geddert was found dead of self-inflicted wounds at a rest stop on I-96, soon after he had been scheduled to turn himself into law enforcement, Fox affiliate WXMI in Grand Rapids reported.
Hours prior to the Geddert’s death, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel publicly announced that 24 charges were being filed against the former coach of the 2012 U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team, and who also operated an elite training facility in the Lansing area, Twistars USA.
It was at this same site where several of Nassar’s victims claimed they were harmed by the now-imprisoned doctor, according to the Detroit News.
Attorney General Nessel made it clear, however, that Geddert’s alleged offenses stemmed from his own conduct between the years of 2008 and 2018, and that the only charge directly connected to Nassar related to an accusation that he provided false information to law enforcement about his knowledge of concerns raised about the doctor’s treatment of female athletes under his care.
Prior to the eruption of the Nassar scandal back in 2016, Geddert had built a reputation as one of the winningest gymnastics coaches in state history, ultimately rising through the ranks to lead the U.S. women’s squad to a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic games in London.
Geddert’s decision to end his own life drew anger from alleged victims, including Sarah Klein, a former gymnast who spent a decade training under his supervision, and who claims she was among the children he “tortured and abused,” as the Detroit News further reported.
Klein deemed Thursday’s events as an “escape from justice” as well as “an admission of guilt” on the part of Geddert, going on to describe it as “traumatizing beyond words.”