US Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert had committed suicide Thursday after being charged with human trafficking of 22 victims, many of them considering suicide themselves.
The 63-year-old owned a Michigan gym and was the head coach of the 2012 US women’s Olympic gymnastics team that ended up winning a gold medal.
Aside from human trafficking offenses, Geddert excelled in mentally and verbally abusing the girls at his gym, according to several testimonies.
One of the victims who is 118 pounds said that Geddert called her fat and ordered her to only eat fruit and vegetables and do daily weigh-ins.
She became panicked and quitted eating and at that point, she attempted suicide. But even with that, Geddert made her apologize for it.
“He was concerned that the suicide attempt would ruin him and would ruin her as well, ensuring that she never got a scholarship. At the meeting, it was decided that they would lie and she would say she had an allergic reaction.”
Another victim recalled how Geddert required her to resume practice one week after a nerve surgery causing her to hit the back of her neck against the bar.
Once he threw her into the bars and started calling her names: “He told her she should climb off the top of the rafters of the gym, jump off and kill herself.”
In 2014, this victim also tried to commit suicide through a prescription drug overdose.