Former USA Gymnastics coach John Geddert charged with human trafficking, sexual assault

John Geddert
John Geddert

John Geddert Arrest & Charge

A former US Olympics gymnastics coach John Geddert, with the disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar, was charged Thursday with two dozen crimes, including sexual assault, human trafficking, and running a criminal enterprise.

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John Geddert was the head coach of the 2012 USA women’s Olympic gymnastics team known as the Fierce Five, which won a gold medal. Nassar was the team’s doctor, and also treated injured gymnasts at the Geddert’s Lansing district gym Twistars for elite athletes.

Geddert, 63, is accused of turning the gym into a criminal business. According to documents filed at Eaton County court near Lansing, he is charged with hiring minors for forced labor, apparently referring to the gymnasts he trained.

Details were not disclosed in the documents, but attorney general Dana Nessel scheduled a press conference in the afternoon to discuss the case. A message was left for Geddert’s lawyer asking for comment.

Geddert was also accused of sexually harassing a teenager in 2012. Authorities alleged that he lied to investigators when he said in 2016 that he had never heard anyone complain about Nassar, who allegedly committed serial sexual abuse of female gymnasts.

Geddert insisted that Nassar had “zero knowledge” of his crimes, but some gymnasts said he forced them to see Nassar and physically abused him. Nassar, a doctor at Michigan State University, was sentenced to decades in prison for sexual assault and possession of child pornography at school and elsewhere.

During Nassar’s sentence, a woman said that Geddert was aware in the late 1990s that Nassar, when she was 16, performed an “improper procedure” on her. A prosecutor read out the anonymous testimony of this criminal in court.

Geddert was suspended by Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics during the Nassar scandal. She told families that she retired in 2018.

Geddert describes herself as “the most equipped female gymnastics coach in Michigan gymnastics history” on her LinkedIn page. She said twistars teams won 130 club titles.

However, Geddert was often described as embarrassing when Nassar’s victims spoke at hearings in 2018.

“What a good friend John was because he gave Larry a whole world that he could very easily abuse,” said gymnast Lindsey Lemke. “You two definitely have a funny meaning of friendship. You, John Geddert, also deserve to sit behind bars right next to Larry. “