Former U.S. Olympic Coach Under Criminal Investigation Amid Larry Nassar Scandal
The Eaton County, Michigan, sheriffâ€™s office announced on Tuesday thatÂ John Geddert, the former U.S. womenâ€™s gymnastics Olympic coach who worked closely with former team doctor andÂ convicted pedophileÂ Larry Nassar,Â is facing a criminal investigation.Â
The Lansing State JournalÂ reported on Tuesday that the sheriffâ€™s office said â€œthere are new people coming forwardâ€? with complaints against the former U.S. Olympic coach. The department said it could not comment about the details of the complaints as the investigation was ongoing.Â
Neither Geddert nor USA Gymnastics immediately responded to HuffPostâ€™s requests for comment.
Geddert was the head coach for the womenâ€™s gymnastics team during the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 London Olympics. He owned two training centers where Nassar worked and was reportedly very close with the disgraced physician, who has been accused by over 265 women of serial sexual abuse under the guise of medical treatment.Â Nassar repeatedly molested many young girls at Geddertâ€™s training center Twistars.Â
USA Gymnastics suspended Geddert in January amid Nassarâ€™s highly publicized sentencing hearings. A few hours later, Geddert announced his retirement.Â
Nassar will spend theÂ rest of his life in prisonÂ after pleadingÂ guilty to 10 countsÂ of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. Additionally, he is servingÂ 60 years in prisonÂ on child pornography charges.
During Nassarâ€™s sentencing hearings, dozens of survivors accused Geddert of being physically and verbally abusive, with some saying he must have known about Nassarâ€™s abuse.Â
â€œMy mother once told me â€˜If a boyfriend ever treats you the way John does, leave him,â€™â€? survivor Annie Labrie said during her victim impact statement.Â
At least one athlete said in her victim impact statement that Geddert walked into the room while Nassar was molesting her.
Geddert and Nassar first began working together at the Great Lakes Gymnastics Club. Later, in 1996, Geddert brought Nassar on to work at the gym he currently owns, Twistars USA Gymnastics Club.Â
Geddert was competitive and was borderline abusive, verbally and physically, to gymnasts, according to Outside the Lines.Â
â€œJohnâ€™s very good at emotional manipulation. He can make you feel like nothing very quickly,â€? former office manager at Twistars, Priscilla Kintigh,Â toldÂ Outside the Lines. â€œLarry was the one to calm the girls down when they had a practice with John.â€?Â Â
Geddert is one of dozens of adults who surrounded Nassar for over two decades while the team doctor molested young athletes. Several officials at USA Gymnastics,Â Michigan State University and the U.S. Olympic Committee have resigned in the face of harsh criticism.Â MSU President Lou Anna K. SimonÂ resignedÂ in late January. TheÂ entire USA Gymnastics board resignedÂ and the NCAA opened anÂ investigationÂ into how MSU handled the Nassar case.Â
In January,Â Congress passed a billÂ that aims to protect young athletes from sexual abuse and regulate governing bodies of amateur sports.ÂThis article originally appeared on The Huffington Post https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/john-geddert-criminal-investigation_us_5a7afda7e4b06505b4e9f6bf?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000603