A former US Olympics gymnastics coach — who worked alongside sicko sports doctor Larry Nassar — trafficked young women and abused them physically and sexually, law enforcement authorities in Michigan charged on Thursday.
Former coach John Geddert was hit with 24 criminal charges by state prosecutors on Thursday, including sex trafficking and criminal sexual conduct, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office said.
He faces life in prison if convicted.
“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,”Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement.
Geddert allegedly used his credentials as a US Olympic coach to convince parents to have their children train at Twistars Gymnastics Club in Dimondale, Mich., where Nassar served as his in-house doctor.
Instead of coaching the gymnasts, he allegedly waged a campaign of abuse, forcing them into labor and physically harming them, prosecutors charged.
He also allegedly lied to investigators who were probing Nassar’s sexual abuse of gymnasts.
Geddert has denied any wrongdoing — and dodged charges after being investigated in the past — but several gymnasts have alleged he forced them to visit Nassar and was physically abusive.
Earlier this month, a spokesperson for the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office said several people had come forward with allegations against Geddert and that prosecutors were investigating the claims.
At Nassar’s sentencing in 2018, an accuser of the sexual predator said in a statement that was read aloud in court that Geddert was aware Nasser abused her in the 1990s.
Nassar, a sports doctor for Michigan State University, was convicted of abusing dozens gymnasts and for possessing child pornography. He was sentenced to dozens of years in prison for carrying out the abuse, which prosecutors said was part of an orchestrated plan for his own sick sexual gratification.
“The defendant methodically planned and carried out years of molestation against children,” Michigan Judge Janice Cunningham said when sentencing Nassar in 2018.
More than 60 victims of the fiend read statements about the abuse he carried out prior to his sentencing — and Nassar was nearly attacked by a raging father who lunged at him in the Michigan courtroom before being subdued by police officers.