Why was John Geddert allowed to turn himself in?

‘We had been in contact with his attorney and were assured of his cooperation,’ says Attorney General’s Office

The former U.S. Olympics coach had ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison -- 40-125 years in Eaton County prison and 40-175 years in Ingham County prison -- after more than 150 victims came forward accusing him of sexual assault. Nessel announced the 24 felony charges against the former gymnastics coach at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
The former U.S. Olympics coach had ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison -- 40-125 years in Eaton County prison and 40-175 years in Ingham County prison -- after more than 150 victims came forward accusing him of sexual assault. Nessel announced the 24 felony charges against the former gymnastics coach at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

John Geddert, the former U.S. Olympics coach and former owner of Twistars Gymnastics, killed himself Thursday just hours after he was charged with 24 felonies.

READ: Hours after being charged with 24 felonies, former gymnastics coach John Geddert kills himself

Geddert would have faced multiple counts of human trafficking, some involving minors. He was also charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct.

The former U.S. Olympics coach had ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison -- 40-125 years in Eaton County prison and 40-175 years in Ingham County prison -- after more than 150 victims came forward accusing him of sexual assault.

Nessel announced the 24 felony charges against the former gymnastics coach at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

READ: Ex-Olympics coach with ties to Nassar faces 20 human trafficking charges among others

In the wake of Geddert’s death, many are asking why he was allowed to turn himself in and wasn’t brought into custody by police.

Authorities said they had no way of knowing Geddert would kill himself and didn’t consider him a flight-risk.

During Thursday’s press conference, Nessel said Geddert was in police custody and was set to be arraigned.

“My understanding is he has turned himself in and that he is scheduled to be arraigned at 2:15 p.m.,” Nessel said.

The Attorney General’s Office issued a correction that read in part, “There was some miscommunication prior to the press conference. We were told Geddert was on his way to the sheriff’s substation. We later found out he did not turn himself in.”

The statement went on to say that having Geddert turn himself in was standard procedure and “We had no indication that Geddert intended to flee or hurt himself or others. We had been in contact with his attorney and were assured of his cooperation.”

Local 4 legal analyst Neil Rockind said the decision is the norm and how he was able to surrender was likely worked out between the attorneys and the court.

“I have reason to believe that the police had been in communication with his counsel and he had been notified,” Rockind said. “I doubt anybody along the way had a sign that this man was going to pose a risk of harm.”

The Attorney General’s Office said they didn’t have anymore information to offer while Michigan State Police investigate his death.

READ: Officials say former gymnastics coach John Geddert was expected to be arraigned same day he kills himself

READ: Larry Nassar sentenced 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing young gymnasts

READ: Gymnasts, parents react to death of former coach John Geddert

The Michigan Sexual Assault Hotline offers anonymous assistance and support without judgement. It can be reached at 855-864-2374.


About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.