A US Olympic gold medal-winning gymnastics coach took his own life after he was charged with human trafficking, running a criminal enterprise, and sexual assault.
John Geddert shot himself only hours after he was brought up on two dozen charges, according to WLNS-TV.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel confirmed the former US women’s gymnastics coach’s death.
Nessel wrote in a statement: “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.”
Michigan State Police said that Geddert’s body was found at the rest area on EB I-96 in Clinton County at 3:24 pm.
According to an official in Nessel’s office, the 63-year-old agreed to surrender to authorities before 2:15 pm but he did not show up.
Documents filed in an Eaton County court show that Geddert is accused of recruiting minors for forced labor and injuring people through forced labor. He was also charged with molesting a 16-year-old in 2012.
Officers also said that the former coach lied to investigators in 2016 when he said that he had never heard anyone complain about disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar.
Geddert was then charged with 14 counts of human trafficking, 6 counts of human trafficking of a minor for forced labor, 1 count of 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct, 1 count of continuing criminal enterprise, and 1 count of lying to a peace officer.
“John Geddert used force, fraud and coercion against the young athletes that came to him for gymnastics training for financial benefit to him,” Nessel said.
“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.
“Many of these victims still carry these scars from his behavior to this day.”
If convicted, he would have faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.
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