Geddert would have faced multiple counts of human trafficking, some involving minors. He was also charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct.
According to court documents, the investigation into Geddert began in February of 2019. The investigation dug into Geddert’s past and statements he made to Michigan State University Police when they were conducting sexual assault investigations into Larry Nassar. Nassar was sentenced 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing young athletes.
Who was John Geddert?
John Geddert, 63, was the head coach of the U.S. Olympics Gymnastics team in 2012. Disgraced former sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar was the team’s doctor at the time.
Geddert owned Twistars, a gym in Dimondale where elite gymnasts and novices trained. Nassar worked at Twistars and survivors of his abuse said they were abused there.
Prosecutors said a witness said Geddert had knowledge of Nassar’s abuse dating back to the 1990s. Geddert himself is accused of physically, emotionally and sexually abusing young athletes at Twistars.
Twistars was sold to new owners in early 2021 and changed its name to Capital City Flips.
What are the allegations?
Court documents outline numerous allegations of verbal, physical, emotional abuse that young women and girls endured because of Geddert.
The following information was provided by a Michigan investigator in court during a request for a felony warrant for John Geddert. The statement outlines the human trafficking of 22 victims and sexual assault of one victim.
Officials said the alleged crimes happened at the Twistars gym in Dimondale. “Each victim listed in this swear-to reported similar acts perpetuated by the defendant, in that he would control, harass, stalk and assault them.”
Survivors told officials that they developed eating and behavioral disorders, self-harming behavior and reported suicide attempts due to how they said Geddert treated them.
Officials said one survivor reported that between 2010 and 2013, Geddert verbally abused her and controlled what she ate. She said his abusive behavior led to her having panic attacks.
She said she sustained multiple injuries and that Geddert would not allow enough time for those injuries to heal before forcing her to train again. In 2012, after two years of abuse, she said she attempted suicide. After her suicide attempt, “Geddert required her to apologize to him for her suicide attempt.”
According to the document, Geddert was concerned that the “suicide attempt would ruin him and would ruin her as well, ensuring that she never got a scholarship. At the meeting it was decided that they would lie and she would say she had an allergic reaction.”
When “Victim B.A.” got a scholarship to college, Geddert called her coach and told the coach to “pull the scholarship from the victim because the victim was lazy and did not want to work.” Geddert asked the coach to put it in writing that he had never contacted her.
The investigator goes on to describe allegations against Geddert made by another survivor who trained at Twistars from 2004 until 2013. She was 8 years old when she started training at Twistars.
“Victim M.T. indicated that Defendant Geddert would routinely walk in during Larry Nassar’s treatment of the gymnasts that took place at Twistars.” She also reported verbal and physical abuse at the hands of Geddert.
She left Twistars in June of 2013 and was interviewed by the USAG regarding a complaint against Geddert. “On May 9th, 2014, Victim M.T. told the investigator, ‘She is concerned about taking part in this interview for fear of retaliation by John Geddert. That he does a good job selling appearance. He will make their gymnast into a collegiate or Olympic gymnast. He gets everyone to buy into his program, then parents start seeing positive results from their gymnast, then they are hooked. The parents then decide to tolerate Geddert’s style or they turn their heads. The gymnasts become too afraid to complain together or their parents for fear of retaliation. Geddert will punish them by making them run, climb the ropes or do numerous repetitive exercises as punishment’.
In May of 2014 she attempted suicide. She told investigators that she witnessed Geddert abuse other gymnasts while at his gym.
There were multiple reports of Geddert taking young gymnasts into the locker room and stomping on their toes. In one case, charges were presented to the prosecutor’s office but they were denied. Geddert was ordered to complete counseling.
Gymnasts allege that he would often push them to train to the point of injury. Or, if they were injured, he would push them and only make that injury worse.
One survivor experienced a leg injury and “when she was injured, Defendant Geddert rolled his eyes and told her to get up.” Even though doctor’s provided the survivor with a doctor’s note telling her not to practice,”Geddert forced her to continue.”
“Defendant Geddert forced the victim to see Larry Nassar before he would accept that she was actually injured. The victim was eventually sexually abused by Larry Nassar.”
Another survivor reported that Geddert would “yell, scream, humiliate and belittle her with insults and threats.” She said that “Geddert would call her lazy, a spoiled brat.” Eventually she was diagnosed with a broken leg.
Survivors have reported PTSD, panic attacks and sleeping disorders from the abuse.
According to the documents, a survivor told investigators that she was sexually abused by Geddert in the locker room after practice when she was 14 years old.
”Defendant Geddert used a pattern of abusive tactics, including stopping, stomping on and stepping on victims’ bare feet when he was wearing shoes. When the victims left and went to other gyms, Defendant Geddert had a pattern of stalking behavior, contacting the new gyms and the coaches to slander the victims.”
What were the charges?
Geddert was charged with 20 counts of human trafficking, six involved minors. The first fourteen counts were 15-year felonies. The other six were 20-year felonies.
He was also charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct involving the same victim. He also would have faced a racketeering charge and a charge of lying to a peace officer during a violent crime investigation.
List of charges:
- Counts 1-14: Human trafficking, forced labor resulting in injury
- Counts 15-20: Human trafficking of a minor or forced labor
- Count 21: Criminal enterprises, racketeering
- Counts 22-23: Criminal sexual conduct in the first-degree and CSC in the second-degree
- Count 24: Lying to peace officer during a violent crime investigation
You can read the entire court document below: