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USA Gymnastics coach may have known about sexual abuse

Feb. 9, 2018
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“I am here to face you, Larry, so you can see I’ve regained my strength, that I’m no longer a victim. I’m a survivor. I am no longer that little girl you met in Australia, where you first began grooming and manipulating,” said two-time Olympian Aly Raisman at the sentencing of former US Gymnastics medical coordinator Lawrence “Larry” Nassar on January 19th. 

Nassar has been accused of sexually abusing over 260 of his patients through US Gymnastics and his position as the University of Michigan’s sports clinic doctor. He pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography, possessing child pornography, and destroying evidence in July. He pleaded guilty to ten counts of sexual assault in January. He pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal sexual conduct three days ago. Collectively, these crimes will put Nassar in jail for the next 100 years. 

The issue does not end with Larry Nassar, however. It extends to the US Olympic Committee, the US Olympic Gymnastics Committee, Michigan State, the NCAA, and the Michigan attorney general. Lawsuits, investigations, and resignations will continue. 

Unfortunately, another figure in US Gymnastics has been brought to light as a potential part of the cover-up. In an interview, Aly Raisman revealed that former Olympic coach John Geddert may have known about Nassar‘s reign of terror. ”One of my teammates described in graphic detail what Nassar had done to her the night before,” Raisman said, “and John Geddert was in the car with us and he just didn't say anything.” Geddert and Nassar worked together for thirty years between different gyms. 

John Geddert is under fire for his own controversy as well. He was suspended by USA Gymnastics in January for physical and verbal abuse of his gymnasts, a fact revealed in testimonies of Larry Nassar’s victims during recent trials. 

Several of them claim that Geddert’s intimidation enabled Nasser to play a “good-cop” role, getting the young women to trust him. A former gymnast at Geddert’s gymnastics club, Makayla Thrush, said of Geddert: “You told me to kill myself not just once, but many other times. After you ended my gymnastics career, I tried.” Thrush said Geddert ended her career after an incident in training that tore her stomach muscles. 

A statement from the Eaton County Sheriff’s Department in Michigan confirmed that authorities are investigating complaints about Geddert.