John Geddert was charged with 24 offenses by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Thursday

By Gabrielle Chung
February 25, 2021 05:23 PM
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John Geddert
John Geddert
| Credit: Kathy Willens/AP/Shutterstock

John Geddert, a former U.S. Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced doctor Larry Nassar, was found dead hours after he was criminally charged with 24 offenses by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, officials confirm.

"My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life," Nessel said in a statement on Thursday. "This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved."

Earlier on Thursday, Geddert, 63, was charged with 20 counts of human trafficking and forced labor resulting in injury, one count of racketeering, two counts of criminal sexual conduct and one count of lying to police.

"These allegations focus around multiple acts of verbal, physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant against multiple young women. I am grateful for these survivors coming forward to cooperate with our investigation and for bravely sharing their stories," Nessel said in a statement at the time the charges were filed. 

John Geddert
John Geddert
| Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty

"The charges against Mr. Geddert are the result of a great deal of hard work by my investigators and prosecutors, and I would like to express my gratitude for their devoted service, as well as the cooperation and efforts of the Michigan State Police, Eaton County Sheriff's Office and Eaton County Prosecutor Doug Lloyd and his staff," the statement read. "This case has truly been a joint effort by law enforcement and another example of how authorities at multiple levels of government can work together in pursuit of justice." 

Geddert had been expected to turn himself in to the Eaton County Sheriff's Office and was scheduled to be arraigned at the Eaton County District Court on Thursday afternoon.

A spokesperson for the state attorney general's office tells PEOPLE that Geddert never showed up to the sheriff's office to surrender himself and he was never arraigned.

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Geddert owned Twistars gymnastics club near Dimondale, Michigan, where several gymnasts alleged they were sexually abused by Nassar.

"Mr. Geddert knew that Nassar was sexual abusing these patients and that he failed to take action," Assistant Attorney General Danielle Hagaman-Clark said when Geddert's charges were filed on Thursday.

"And that when he was asked about it by police officers during the 2016 investigation into Nassar, he lied about that," Hagaman-Clark said.

In January 2018, Nassar pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 10 minors and was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.