Former U.S. Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert,63 died by suicide within hours after he was charged with 20 counts of human trafficking stemming from allegations that he profited from the forced labour of young gymnasts.
Mr Geddert’s death was confirmed by a representative of his attorney, Chris Bergstrom, and by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life. This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved,” Ms Nessel said.
The office also alleged that Geddert made "false or misleading" statements to authorities investigating Larry Nassar, who worked as Geddert's team physician for approximately 20 years. Nassar, who was convicted of molesting women at Geddert's facility, is serving decades behind bars for child pornography crimes and molesting young athletes. The office said Geddert's charges are unrelated to its wider investigation at Michigan State University.
USA Gymnastics said in a statement that "we had hoped that news of the criminal charges being brought against John Geddert would lead to justice through the legal process," adding, "With the news of his death by suicide, we share the feelings of shock, and our thoughts are with the gymnastics community as they grapple with the complex emotions of today's events."