Gymnastic Coach by Day Human Trafficker by Night

Emma Heyd, Photo Editor

On Thursday February 25 John Geddert, a former United States gymnastics coach, was supposed to appear at Eaton County court. However, he was found dead at a rest area on Interstate 96 according to state police hours after being charged with turning his Michigan gym into a human trafficking center.

At only 63 years of age, Geddert faced 24 charges that consisted of sexual assault, human trafficking, forced labor and running a criminal enterprise. While many of the Olympic gymnasts have reported that they did not get their closure, there are also many local children and grown adults that do not feel comfortable in their own gyms now. 

“In my view there’s no greater admission of guilt than being charged and immediately taking your own life,” Sarah Klein, one of the gymnasts at the facility said.

Klein and Lindsey Lemke trained with Geddert in the local Twistars gym and touched on their experiences. Not only did he physically abuse kids, he mentally abused them also they both stated. 

“He had a temper that he couldn’t control, and he wanted to instill fear in kids,” Lemke said.