LANSING, Mich. — Former U.S. Olympic coach John Geddert is facing 20 counts of human trafficking and one count of sexual assault.
In 2012, Gedddert was head coach of the women’s Olympic gymnastics team. He apparently helped the team win a gold medal.
Geddert, 63, owned and coached women at Twistars gymnastics club in Dimondale, where former Michigan State University doctor and convicted sex offender Larry Nassar regularly treated gymnasts.
Geddert was the head coach of the gold medal-winning 2012 U.S. Women's Olympic Gymnastics Team, which Nassar was the team doctor for.
Several of Nassar's victims have said Geddert knew about Nassar's abuse. Geddert has denied those allegations.
“He had every idea that it was happening,” said former Twistars gymnast Makayla Thrush. “It was happening in his own gym, in the back room, with the doors open. There’s no way he couldn’t have known.”
After a long investigation, on Thursday Geddert was presented with 24 charges. In addition to human trafficking and sexual assault, they include force labor, racketeering and lying to police officers.
In the past, gymnasts have accused Geddert of being physically and emotionally abusive.
“The abuse I experienced from him ended my career,” Thrush said.
Rachel Denhollander, one of the first women to publicly accuse Nassar, tweeted that "Geddert's abuse, like so much, was never a secret. EVER. In my memoir I wrote about knowing of it even as a club level gymnast in 2000. Because we have to grapple with the reality that it was known, and no one stopped him. It was known, and he was promoted and given more power."
She also applauded the women who came forward in the Geddert case.
"Their voices effected and will continue to effect change," she wrote.
Nassar was sentenced in 2018 to 40 to 175 years in prison for molesting some of the nation’s top gymnasts, under the guise of medical treatment.
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