Ex-U.S. Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to Nassar charged

26 Février, 2021, 13:46 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
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Mr. Geddert for decades owned and operated Twistars Gym in Lansing, Mich., where he trained Jordyn Wieber, the 2011 world champion and a member of the 2012 gold-medal-winning Olympic team.

He 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, according to a MI state criminal complaint filed in Eaton County.

Geddert is also infamous for his close relationship with Larry Nassar.

A former U.S. Olympic gymnastics coach who had ties to Larry Nassar is dead after being charged with human trafficking, sexual assault and other felony charges by the Michigan Attorney General's Office.

All of the charges are felonies carrying maximum sentences between 15 years and life in prison, except for the count of lying to the police officer, which can carry a four-year sentence, MI officials said.

The "investigation is ongoing; no further details will be released at this time", according to a police statement.

"In this new year, I ask that this Board focus on what is truly important-providing answers to the survivors of Larry Nassar's awful crimes and to the people of MI who have seen its largest public university mired in scandal", Nessel wrote to the Board of Trustees's Chairperson Dianne Byrum.

Nassar is serving life in prison after being convicted of sexual assault charges and child pornography.

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"It is alleged that John Geddert used force, fraud and coercion against young athletes that came to him for gymnastics training for financial benefit to him", Nessel said.

Some of those athletes subsequently attempted suicide and suffered from eating disorders and self-harm as a result of abuse including excessive physical conditioning in training, repeatedly being pushed to perform when injured, extreme emotional abuse and sexual assault, she added. Charges against Simon were dismissed in May 2020, but the Attorney General's office is appealing that decision, Nessel said Thursday.

Nessel acknowledged that the case might not fit the common understanding of human trafficking.

"We think of it predominantly as affecting people of color or those without means to protect themselves ... but honestly it can happen to anyone, anywhere", Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said.

USA Gymnastics suspended Geddert during Nassar's sentencing hearing in January 2018 amid a flood of public complaints from former gymnasts about his abusive coaching style. He told families in 2018 that he was retiring.

On his LinkedIn page, Geddert described himself as the "most decorated women's gymnastics coach in MI gymnastics history".

But Geddert was often portrayed in unflattering ways when Nassar's victims spoke during court hearings in 2018. Some insisted he was aware of the doctor's abuse. Nassar, who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 10 minors in a MI court in January 2018, is serving up to 175 years in prison and is expected to be behind bars for the rest of his life. He was accused of physically, emotionally and sexually abusing gymnasts he coached at his gym, Twistars gymnastics club in Dimondale, Michigan, according to the complaint.

"So much pain and grief for everyone", she said on Twitter after his death. "To the survivors, you have been heard and believed, and we stand with you". Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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