Merely hours after being charged by Michigan State officials for a series of crimes, American gymnastics coach John Geddert took his life last Thursday. His body was found at 3:24 p.m. EST at an interstate highway rest stop by Michigan state police. This came following two dozen charges, mainly regarding his abusive behavior towards the gymnasts he coached during his career.
Of the 24 felonies Geddert was charged with shortly before his death, 20 of them were counts of human trafficking. They forced labor and one case each of racketeering, lying to police, first-degree sexual assault, and second-degree sexual assault. During an afternoon news conference, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said that "John Geddert used force, fraud, and coercion against the young athletes that came to him for gymnastics training for financial benefit to him," also describing his actions towards his gymnasts as "excessive physical conditioning, repeatedly being forced to perform even while injured, extreme emotional abuse and physical abuse, including sexual assault."
The victims of his abuse also experienced numerous issues after said abuse, with Nessel stating that "the victims suffer from disordered eating, including bulimia and anorexia, suicide attempts and self-harm."
There was no previous indication that Geddert had planned to kill himself. According to Kelly Rossman-McKinney, a spokeswoman for Dana Nessel, "We did not indicate that Geddert intended to flee or hurt himself or others. We had been in contact with his attorney and were assured of his cooperation." He was to be charged in court in Eaton County, Michigan, at 2:15 p.m. on the day of his death.
Notably, Geddert held close connections with Team USA doctor Larry Nassar, who was convicted for sexually abusing his patients and sentenced to 175 years in prison after over 150 women and girls testified to his abuse in court. When asked about it by police during the investigation of Nassar in 2016, he had denied it.