Bengaluru, February 26: Former US Olympics gymnastics coach John Geddert, who had ties with disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar committed suicide hours after being charged with turning his Michigan gym into a hub of human trafficking by coercing girls to train and then abusing them.
The 63-year-old faced 24 charges that could have carried years in prison had he been convicted.
He was supposed to appear in an Eaton County court, near Lansing, but his body was found at a rest area along Interstate 96, according to state police.
Former U.S. gymnastics coach dies by suicide hours after he was criminally charged in Michigan.— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 26, 2021
John Geddert had agreed to surrender at a sheriff's office on Thursday before arraignment, but he never showed up, DA spokesperson says. https://t.co/x3AhQ9Lr2t
"This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said.
Nessel earlier announced that Geddert was charged with a bushel of crimes, including sexual assault, human trafficking and running a criminal enterprise.
The charges were the latest fallout from the sexual abuse scandal involving Nassar, a former Michigan State University sports doctor now in prison.
Geddert was coach of the women's team known as the Fierce Five that won gold at the 2012 Olympics and the former owner of the Lansing-area Twistars USA Gymnastics Club for elite athletes where Nassar treated gymnasts.
The two sexual assault charges stem from an incident in 2012, court documents showed.
"These allegations focus around multiple acts of verbal, physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant against multiple young women," Nessel said in an earlier statement.
Sarah Klein, a gymnast who trained under Geddert for more than 10 years and was assaulted by Nassar, said the coach''s death was an "escape from justice" and "traumatizing beyond words."
"His suicide is an admission of guilt that the entire world can now see," said Klein, a lawyer.
Geddert was later suspended by USA Gymnastics in January 2018.
(With inputs from Agencies)