Investigators at home of gymnastics coach tied to Nassar

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Police on Tuesday assisted state investigators at the Michigan home of a gymnastics coach who had ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar.

The Lansing State Journal posted photos of a man with a police coat carrying a box away from John Geddert’s house in Grand Ledge, west of Lansing. There were others at the scene.

Police Chief Thomas Osterholzer said officers ‘assisted the attorney general´s office this morning within the city of Grand Ledge.’ 

He declined to offer any other details. The Eaton County sheriff´s office also provided support.

The attorney general’s office declined to comment. 

A message seeking comment was left with an attorney who has been representing Geddert in civil lawsuits.

Geddert in 2012 was head coach of the US women’s Olympic gymnastics team, which won a gold medal.  

Nassar, a doctor at Michigan State University, was the team’s doctor and also saw injured gymnasts at Twistars, Geddert’s Lansing-area gym for elite athletes.

Nassar has been sentenced to decades in prison for sexually assaulting gymnasts with his hands and possessing child pornography.

Geddert has insisted he had ‘zero knowledge’ of Nassar’s crimes, although some gymnasts said he was physically abusive and forced them to see Nassar.

Geddert was suspended by USA Gymnastics. He told families in 2018 that he was retiring and transferring management of Twistars to his wife.

Geddert had been under investigation for nearly two years. The investigation into him launched following Nassar’s sentencing. 

During the sentencing, Nassar’s victims shared that Twistars was a ‘prison’ where Geddert broke gymnasts ‘mentally and physically.’ Geddert was said to even forced the gymnasts to go without water in the summer and to work in the gym without air conditioning.

Last July, Sara Teristi, who met Nassar as a young teen in Michigan in late 1988, came forward in a bombshell TIME interview, implicating Geddert.

Teristi, who is now in her 40s, said that when she was 16 and suffering from a hairline fracture to her tailbone, Nassar penetrated her anally with his hands under the guise of performing a medical procedure. 

Teristi says Geddert saw some of the abuse but failed to act, instead maintaining a close personal and professional relationship with the soft-spoken doctor over several decades. 

In one instance, according to Teristi, Geddert was present in the medical room while Nassar applied an ice pack to the bare chest of the then-14-year-old gymnast and began playing with her nipples.

Rather than putting a halt to the abuse, Geddert is said to have made jokes about the size of the young girl’s chest and allowed the sexual assault to continue freely.

‘They would stand there and have a conversation right in front of me,’ she said.

‘John [Geddert] would joke about how small my ‘tits’ were. He said if I was lucky, they would get bigger.’

Now a mother-of-two, she believes Geddert helped engineer a culture of fear that allowed Nassar’s sexual abuse to continue unabashed.

‘Your body didn’t belong to you,’ she says. ‘You didn’t get to make decisions about it.’

And in another extreme instance, she claims Geddert himself straddled her ‘in a sexual way’ after she returned from injury and landed on her hands and knees.

‘He was sitting on my back, riding me in a sexual way,’ she claimed. ‘He said, ‘Ooh, baby, you like it like that!”

The gymnastic coach was investigated twice by Michigan State Police – once in 2011 and again in 2013. In 2011, he was said to have gotten into an argument with an employee while he was investigated for assaulting a gymnast in 2013.

Geddert was suspended by USA Gymnastics in January 2018 and announced his retirement the following day. He has been under investigation since. 

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