A former U.S. Olympic Gymnastics coach accused of abusing young female athletes died by suicide

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A former U.S. Olympic Gymnastics coach died by suicide Thursday. John Geddert, 63, was previously accused of physically abusing dozens of his young female athletes and committing at least one sexual assault. “My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. Geddert was expected to turn himself in Thursday afternoon, as the standard procdure is. Geddert coached the 2012 Olympic team to a gold medal, and formerly owned a USA Gymnastics club in Michigan. 24 criminal charges against Geddert were filed: 14 counts of human trafficking, forced labor causing injury; six counts of human trafficking of a minor for forced labor; one count of continuing criminal enterprise; one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct; one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct; and one count of lying to a peace officer during a violent crime investigation.

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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.” Sarah Klein, a gymnast who said she trained with Geddert for more than 10 years, said, “John Geddert’s escape from justice by committing suicide is traumatizing beyond words. He tortured and abused little girls, myself included, for more than 30 years and was able to cheat justice.”