Ex-USA gymnastics coach with hyperlinks to Nassar shall be prosecuted: NPR

Former American gymnastics coach John Geddert has faced 24 crimes, including human trafficking, forced labor and sexual misconduct. He is celebrated above after the US women won the team gold medal at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Visionhaus / Corbis via Getty Images Hide caption

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Visionhaus / Corbis via Getty Images

Former American gymnastics coach John Geddert has faced 24 crimes, including human trafficking, forced labor and sexual misconduct. He is celebrated above after the US women won the team gold medal at the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Visionhaus / Corbis via Getty Images

A former American gymnastics coach with ties to convicted felon and former U.S. gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar has faced two dozen criminal charges of his own, including human trafficking, forced labor and sexual misconduct.

John Geddert was the head coach of the US women’s Olympic gymnastics team in 2012, which took home the team’s gold medal in London. He also owned an elite training facility in Twansars, Lansing, Michigan. Nassar also treated injured athletes there.

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Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel announced the charges at a press conference Thursday afternoon. She said the charges brought by her office “focus on multiple verbal, physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant against multiple victims.”

Nessel declined to give a specific number of victims, other than saying the number was “less than 50 and they are all minors”.

The charges against Geddert are as follows:

  • 14 cases of human trafficking – forced labor resulting in injury, a 15 year crime;
  • Six cases of trafficking minors for forced labor, a crime of 20 years;
  • A continued criminal enterprise count, a 20 year crime;
  • A count of first-degree criminal sexual behavior, a crime against life;
  • A second-degree criminal sexual behavior count, a 15 year crime; and
  • A count of lying to a peace officer during an investigation into a violent crime, a four year crime

Former American gymnastics coach John Geddert was seen upstairs during the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Jamie Squire / Getty Images hide subtitles

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Jamie Squire / Getty Images

Former American gymnastics coach John Geddert was seen upstairs during the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Jamie Squire / Getty Images

The charges were brought in Eaton County, which includes part of Lansing. Nessel told reporters that Geddert had stood up for charges.

“These allegations focus on multiple verbal, physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant against several young women. I am grateful that these survivors came forward to cooperate with our investigation and courageously share their stories,” said Nessel .

The indictment alleges that Geddert’s harsh treatment of his athletes constituted human trafficking and forced labor. Nessel repeated that the allegations were only allegations and that Geddert was considered innocent “until and as long as” he was found guilty.

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63-year-old Geddert was a well-known figure in elite gymnastics when he trained the so-called “Fierce Five” line-up on the 2012 women’s team, which included McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber, Michigan Radio, belonged.

The broadcaster adds that Geddert is also known for his close relationship with Nassar. The two were friends and business associates, and three of Nassar’s sexual assault convictions occurred at Twistars.

USA Gymnastics lists Geddert among suspended and restricted persons “pending dissolution”. The entry for Geddert is “Membership suspended / suspended from all contacts”.

Geddert was suspended by USA Gymnastics during the Nassar scandal, according to The Associated Press. The AP adds that it has informed families that he will be retiring in 2018.

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