Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
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Former Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert facing criminal investigation

Former Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert facing criminal investigation

Former U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team coach John Geddert is facing a criminal investigation following the final sentencing of disgraced ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar, who molested girls at Geddert's elite gymnastics club in MI. He also was previously sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes.

Geddert has insisted he had "zero knowledge" of Nassar's crimes.

Long after the disgraced doctor is locked up in a federal prison, investigations into his misconduct will go on, perhaps for years.

Sentencing Larry Nassar to a third prison term, a judge says she doesn't think there is a likelihood that he could be "reformed". He already is guaranteed to spend life in prison under other sentences. He is also serving a 60-year federal term for child pornography convictions.

An astonishing 250-plus women and girls gave statements in two MI courtrooms over 10 days of proceedings.

In the Eaton County case, Nassar, 54, had pleaded guilty to 13 counts of criminal sexual conduct for molesting three young girls who sought treatment from him while he volunteered at Twistars Gymnastics Club - an elite Dimondale, Michigan, club that was run by former US Olympic coach John Geddert.

Those inquiries include a special prosecutor and a legislative probe in MI, a law firm investigating the U.S. Olympic Committee and a Texas Rangers review of claims that Nassar assaulted some of the world's best gymnasts while they trained at a ranch southeast of Huntsville. And the U.S. Education Department, which has power to enforce anti-discrimination law on campuses, said it's reviewing how Michigan State handled complaints about Nassar. Nassar maintains that he retired from USA Gymnastics and did not retire.In September of 2016, Nassar was the subject of a piece in the Indianapolis Star in which two former gymnasts including Rachael Denhollander accused him of sexual assault. He worked for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. Even then, that report did not result in criminal charges.

The university suspended him about a week after, she said, and she offered a chilling thought: "I'm possibly the last child he will ever assault".

Boyce has said she and a fellow teenage teammate complained about Nassar in 1997.

"I feel nearly a sense of closure and that this is all over and things are going to be taken care of", Black said.

The 54-year-old former doctor, who was almost attacked in court last week when a father lunged at him after hearing his daughters' impact statements, offered an apology as he faced the judge and said his victims' testimonies will be "forever present" in his thoughts.

Sentencing Judge Janice Cunningham said the doctor had harmed more than 256 women and the sentence was "proportionate to the seriousness to the circumstances surrounding the offenses and the offender". Two-time Olympian Aly Raisman was one of hundreds of women to give a victim statement during Nassar's sentencing.

Nassar told the court: "It's impossible to convey the breadth and depth of how sorry I am to each and every one".

The New York Times reported that at least 40 more women and girls were molested during that time. Some of the cases date back to the 1990s.

"I've just signed your death warrant", Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said as she delivered the sentence. It is also facing scores of lawsuits filed by victims and parents.

Numerous accusers described an ultra-competitive gymnastics culture in which authority figures could not be questioned and Nassar was free to abuse young patients year after year. States have a responsibility to see that forced silence no longer protects abusers, whether they are Catholic priests, Hollywood moguls or doctors "treating" innocent young athletes.

"As detectives, attorneys and survivors have previously noted, a pedophile can not flourish in the way Larry did in an environment that is not conducive to his behavior", abuse survivor Annie Labrie said in court Wednesday.

Makayla Thrush, who trained at Geddert's club from ages 7 to 17, said she developed an eating disorder because of Geddert and accused him of becoming so angry that he threw her on top of a low bar, ruptured the lymph nodes in her neck, gave her a black eye and tore the muscles in her stomach, ending her career.

"It could have happened to any parent", she said, noting that Nassar tricked parents who were police officers, doctors and engineers.

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