Ex U.S. gymnastics coach John Geddert dies by suicide after being charged with human trafficking, sex assault

John Geddert, the associate of Larry Nassar and former U.S. Olympic gymnastics coach who was charged Thursday with several felonies including human trafficking and sexual assault, has taken his own life, according to the Michigan Attorney General's office.

The AG said that Geddert died by suicide and called it a tragic end.

"My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life. This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved," Nessel said in the statement.

FOX 2  Tim Skubick said a law enforcement source told him that Geddert's car was found at a rest stop in Grand Ledge Thursday afternoon. Michigan State Police said his body was found at a rest area on eastbound I-96 in Clinton County a little before 3:30 Thursday.

Geddert had agreed to turn himself in on the charges and was supposed to appear for a 2 p.m. hearing in Eaton County to face 24 felony charges including human trafficking, criminal enterprise, criminal sexual conduct, and more. He never showed up.

The charges were announced Thursday by attorney general Dana Nessel against Geddert, who used to run the Twistars gymnastics club in Dimondale.

The attorney general said Geddert used "force, fraud, and coercion" against the victims, who numbered less than 50.

As a result of the damage inflicted by the former coach, the victims turned to eating disorders, suicide attempts, and self-harm. Geddert subjected the victims to excessive physical exertion, extreme emotional abuse, and sexual assault.

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text to 741-741 

CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support. 

Connections to Nassar

Nessel said the only charge against Geddert as it relates to Nasser is lying to the police. He's accused of knowing about the crimes committed by the former sports doctor and lying during inquiries from law enforcement.

John Geddert, who used to run the Twistars gymnastics club in Dimondale was hit with 24 criminal charges.

In past comments, Geddert has denied having any knowledge of crimes committed by Nasser. The former sports doctor was sentenced to prison in a historic case that included hundreds of sexual assault victims. 

However, during Nasser's sentencing, a woman said Geddert was aware in the late 1990s that Nassar had performed an "inappropriate procedure" on her when she was 16. A prosecutor read that accuser’s anonymous statement in court.

RELATED: Graphic testimony by victims of Larry Nassar during 4-day sentencing

After initially reporting the coming charges, Nessel's office told FOX 2 her office's investigation was aided by the help of Michigan State Police and Grand Ledge Police who executed search warrants at his home and the gym facility Wednesday.

Law enforcement recovered 12 boxes of evidence that included electronic devices.

Geddert was first suspended from USA Gymnastics in 2018 in the wake of the Nasser scandal. As a coach, his 2012 U.S. Women's Olympic gymnastics team won a gold medal. 

Geddert's wife, Katherine is not under investigation.