Michigan Attorney General’s Office Releases Statement In Response to News of John Geddert’s Death
The Michigan Attorney General’s office has published press releases on its website regarding “John Geddert, former US Olympics gymnastics coach and former owner of Lansing-area Twistars USA Gymnastics Club,” according to the Michigan AG office.
Its recent press release stated: “Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued the following statement after learning from authorities of John Geddert’s death. Geddert was the subject of a criminal complaint filed earlier today by the Attorney General’s office.”
“My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life,” Nessel said per the Michigan AG office. “This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved.”
The following information is directly from another Michigan Attorney General’s office press release detailing the charges that were filed.
“Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office has filed 24 criminal charges against John Geddert, former US Olympics gymnastics coach and former owner of Lansing-area Twistars USA Gymnastics Club, accusing him of committing at least one sexual assault and multiple incidents of physical abuse against dozens of his young female athletes” according to the Michigan Attorney General’s office.
Charges filed against Geddert, according to the Michigan Attorney General’s office, include:
- 14 counts of human trafficking, forced labor causing injury, a 15-year felony;
- Six counts of human trafficking of a minor for forced labor, a 20-year felony;
- One count of continuing criminal enterprise, a 20-year felony;
- One count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a life offense felony;
- One count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year felony; and
- One count of lying to a peace officer during a violent crime investigation, a four-year felony
“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 via The Michigan Attorney General’s office. “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. 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.”
The Michigan Attorney General’s office went more into detail regarding the tragic case:
“Geddert sold his reputation as an Olympic-level coach and promised to unsuspecting parents that he could turn his students into world-class athletes, allowing them to secure college scholarships, the Attorney General’s office alleges. Under the guise of coaching, he reportedly subjected multiple young women to an environment of continued abuse, in which he also neglected advice of medical doctors – except that provided by Larry Nassar, who served for around 20 years as Geddert’s team physician and in-house medical expert at Twistars. Geddert also made false or misleading statements to authorities investigating Nassar for criminal sexual conduct, according to the Attorney General’s complaint.”Michigan Attorney General’s office press release
Nessel also sent a letter on February 24 to the Michigan State University Board of Trustees’ chairperson Dianne Byrum: “After a turbulent 2020 that resulted in each of us devoting extraordinary time and attention to navigating an unprecedented public health crisis, I wanted to begin 2021 with a renewed sense of focus on certain important matters still pending with my Department. At the top of that list is my Department’s investigation of Michigan State University related to the Larry Nassar scandal.”
You can read the full letter from Nessel here.
Here’s what gymnasts and other people said about this situation (before and after the news):
USA Gymnastics has a “Safe Sport Policy (which) is the foundation for rules, policies and responsibilities for athlete safety and well-being and the prevention of abuse. The policy encompasses the requirements of the ‘SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements’ and federal laws, including the ‘Protecting Young Victims and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017.'” according to usagym.org.
According to the usagym.org, “The U.S. Center for SafeSport was created by the United States Olympic Committee in March 2017 as a wholly independent body to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct in Olympic National Governing Bodies. The U.S. Center for SafeSport has exclusive jurisdiction over sexual misconduct allegations, which means USA Gymnastics and its members report any allegations of sexual misconduct they become aware of to the Center for investigation and resolution.”
Here’s one piece of practical advice to implement preventive measures to prevent any type of abuse that USA Gymnastics Safe Sport tweeted about in February 2020:
USA Gymnastics Safe Sport stated: “All training sessions must be open & interruptible. Line of site is the idea of being aware of what you can see & hear in your physical position in the gym, but also who can see & hear you”
It’s also encouraged to LIVE stream events and practices to “embrace transparency”
Here’s the full USA Gymnastics University Channel presentation with advice on how to protect gymnasts. Two dad’s also speak in the video (at least one of the dad’s has daughters in gymnastics):
The Michigan Attorney General’s office noted at the end of the press release on the charges: “Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Attorney General’s office does not provide photos of defendants, but one may be available from the booking agency, the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office Substation in Delta Township.“
As the Michigan Department of Attorney General’s office states “For the full press release of the criminal complaint that was field by the Michigan Attorney General’s office, you can read more at Michigan’s Department of Attorney General site“.
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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