The US Gymnastics sexual assault scandal is one of the most sordid and notorious ripping across headlines in the United States and around the world today. The US Gymnastics sexual assault case grew even more dramatic at the very end of February.
The US Gymnastics sexual abuse case initially centered on the team’s doctor, Larry Nassar. When the story initial broke, Nassar was said to have sexually assaulted gymnasts since the mid-1990s. Nassar was said to have sexually abused members of all Olympic teams dating back to the 1996. Some of Nassar’s victims were minors at the time they were assaulted by the doctor.
Nassar ultimately was arrested, convicted, and is now imprisoned for his crimes. He was sentenced to 175 years in prison as a result of decades of sexually abusing scores of young women and girls. Hundreds of victims have claimed to have been sexually abused and assaulted by Nassar – and that number is still growing.
The net involving perpetrators of crimes against participants in the US Gymnastics program grew wider on the morning of February 25, 2021. The former coach of the team, John Geddert, was charged with multiple crimes, including forms of human trafficking. In addition to serving as the team’s coach, Geddert also owned and operates Twistars, a Lansing, Michigan, area gym that catered to gymnasts.
In announcing the charges, the Michigan Attorney General stated that young athletes being coached by Geddert were subjected to “excessive physical conditioning, repeatedly being forced to perform even while injured, extreme emotional abuse and physical abuse, including sexual assault.”
Nearly two dozen charges were filed against Geddert, including two charges involving the sexual assault of a minor. The charges also include allegations that he lied to law enforcement officials in the initial investigation of the team doctor, Larry Nassar. A long-held belief has been that Geddert was aware of Nassar’s sexual abuse of women and girls at Twistars and on the US Gymnastics team.
Prosecutors announced on Thursday morning that Geddert would be taken into custody. IN fact, through his attorney, Geddert has agreed to turn himself in to the police at 2:25 p.m.
By Thursday afternoon, the disgraced coach was dead by suicide. Geddert’s body was found at a highway rest stop. Law enforcement officials have released no specific information about the exact cause of the coach’s death, beyond that he did die by suicide.
In the aftermath of Geddert’s death, the Michigan Attorney General released another short statement about the newly filed case:
“My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement Thursday afternoon. "This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved.”
A couple of victims made comments following the death by suicide of John Geddert. A common theme in these remarks was that the death of Geddert brings no sense of closure to them. There appear to be no other individuals who may face charges at this time as a result of the wide-ranging victimization of women and girls through these gymnastics programs.
If you’re the victim of sexual abuse by doctors, or sexual assault by another individual in a position of authority – like a coach, minister, or teacher – the experienced, compassionate legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. The stark reality is that sexual abuse by doctors and others in positions of authority is wide-ranging, impacting innocent victims from all walks of life.
A nationwide law practice, The Doan Law Firm has 40 local offices located from coast-to-coast in the United States. You can reach us any time of the day or night by calling (800) 349-0000. We can arrange a confidential consultation with a caring, committed sexual assault lawyer any time convenient for you. In addition to arranging an appointment at one of our offices, we can also schedule a virtual consultation with you online as well. There is never a charge for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm sexual assault lawyer.
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