A former US Olympic women’s gymnastics team coach is facing a criminal investigation after complaints were filed following the sentencing of disgraced ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar.
The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office said people recently came forward with complaints against John Geddert.
Nassar had molested girls at Geddert’s elite gymnastics club in Michigan. The office declined to elaborate on the number of complaints or their nature, citing the ongoing investigation.
Until recently Geddert owned and operated Twistars, a gym in Dimondale where Nassar offered treatments on Monday nights. During Nassar’s sentencing hearing, some victims complained that Geddert was physically abusive, created an ultra-competitive atmosphere, was indifferent to injuries and rarely offered gymnasts any choice to see a different doctor.
One also alleged that Geddert was aware in the late 1990s that Nassar had performed an “inappropriate procedure” on her when she was 16. Geddert has insisted he had “zero knowledge” of Nassar’s crimes.
In response to lawsuits, his lawyer filed court papers saying Geddert was “just one person in an extremely long line of people who were fooled by Nassar”. Geddert was previously accused of physically assaulting a parent who was also a coach at Twistars. He also was accused of assaulting a gymnast. He did not face charges in either case.
On Monday, the worst sex abuse case in sports history ended with a third long prison sentence for Nassar.
The latest sentence of 40 to 125 years was for molesting young gymnasts at Twistars. Geddert was suspended last month by USA Gymnastics until it completes its own investigation. The 60-year-old, who coached the “Fierce Five” that won a team gold in 2012 in London, announced his retirement.
An astonishing 250-plus women and girls gave statements in two Michigan courtrooms over 10 days of proceedings. The focus will shift to lawsuits and multiple probes of Nassar’s actions and those of people around him when he worked for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body.