Another story of Michigan justice delayed

I am still outraged by this story, covered again in today’s New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/26/sports/olympics/geddert-nassar-gymnastics-abuse.html :

From the story: “For several decades, until law enforcement finally came calling and their careers came to an end, the coach and the doctor were close friends who made a perfect team of abusers.

John Geddert, a coach of the 2012 Olympic women’s gymnastics team, and Lawrence G. Nassar, the longtime national team doctor, were so close that Geddert had been in Nassar’s wedding party.

The two relied on each other to fuel a cycle of abuse that occurred at Geddert’s gym in Michigan, several of Geddert’s former gymnasts and their parents said on Friday.

‘You had this good cop, bad cop dynamic that worked beautifully,” said Sarah Klein, 41, who has said she was abused by both men. “John would beat us up and break us down both mentally and physically and then send us back to Larry, who would give us a tissue to dry our tears and sexually abuse us. Then he’d send us back to John, often on broken bones and pulled muscles, so the cycle could start all over again.'”

Who on earth believes a man capable of what there was enough evidence to charge him with would just drive on over from his fancy-ass home to his arraignment for charges that could have put him in jail for life and then some? Nobody broke into his home under cover of darkness, guns drawn, to execute an arrest warrant. They should have.

It took forever to charge this guy. First, prosecutors failed to file charges against this man for assault and battery in 2011 and 2013. The further extent of his depraved and criminal behavior became part of the record at the sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar in early 2018. Three years later, after Geddert “retired” from his coaching position at his gym in Michigan and transferred ownership to his wife, Kathryn (a fraudulent transfer, I would argue, meant to protect assets from civil lawsuits), everyone is good with him “turning himself in” to face much more serious charges. It’s outrageous.

One of the women Geddert victimized stated there was no sense of closure for the victims of Nassar or Geddert and she is demanding an independent investigation into who knew what and when at USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee. She explained that there is no way she will let the story conclude this way, with Geddert ending his life at a highway rest stop. No need for this guy to bring his toothbrush to the arraignment (probably would have been released pending trial anyway), but just in case, grab that handgun you coward.

It would seem that Michigan might be ready to wash its hands of the entire gymnastics mess, of Geddert, Nassar and MSU. Nassar is in prison. Geddert offed himself. MSU is paying out settlements, but won’t play ball in the investigation into who knew what when at that fine institution, claiming “attorney-client privilege.”

As previously noted, an Orange County newspaper reported the “eerily reminiscent” 2015 suicide of 49-year-old USA gymnastics coach Marvin Sharp. Sharp killed himself in an Indianapolis jail cell while being held on four counts of child molesting and three counts of sexual misconduct with a minor. Between Sharp, Epstein and now Geddert, hopefully prosecutors have learned you don’t give these privileged, white, male sex offenders any slack (or hand guns or sheets). No working with their untrustworthy, high-priced attorneys, no “turn yourself in,” and an immediate 24-hour suicide watch, on camera with no sleepy guards. No time or leeway to move assets before the civil suits start. No sitting on these allegations like the Detroit office of the FBI sat on the Nassar CSC complaints. And you know what? No backing down from institutions like MSU without a court battle on their cries of “attorney-client privilege” as they sabotage investigations into their criminally-inclined employees. https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2021/02/suicide-of-john-geddert-ex-olympics-coach-accused-of-abusing-gymnasts-wont-end-fight-for-justice-victims-attorney-says.html. Something doesn’t pass the smell test there.

Until institutions like MSU, USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee start having to pay immense damages (and not drop-in-the-bucket amounts given their revenues) to all victims, they will continue to ignore young athletes, students and their parents and protect and promote monsters like Geddert and Nassar in a confused or intentional play to protect reputations unworthy of protection. Complicit enablers need to go down, too, however that can be managed.


4 Comments on “Another story of Michigan justice delayed”

  1. MKW says:

    Why doesn’t AG Nessel subpoena the documents she wants?

    • cathybroad says:

      In her book Going Public, A Survivor’s Journey from Grief to Action (Between the Lines, Toronto, 2020), Dr. Julie Macfarlane writes about the attributes of institutions, especially universities, leading to the protection of abusers rather than victims. Pages 106-120. As she explains, legalities trump morality in the eyes of those who view their mission at protecting the institution’s reputation at all costs. Even as the public becomes more aware of its compounding, ineffective response to wrongdoing. I bet those trustees and highly placed alumni are not afraid to pick up the phone to try to make this die down and to do what limited damage control that can be done at this point. Make it go away.

    • cathybroad says:

      Rachel Denhollander explains in What is a Girl Worth? that MSU copied their attorneys on any correspondence/emails so they could invoke attorney-client privilege; that their document responses included thousands of pages of irrelevant material such as the bed bug policy at MSU, and that while MSU refused to meet with survivors, they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to PR firms to monitor survivors’ social media accounts and hired private investigators to track and discredit Nasser’s victims. AG Nessel, do not walk away from the conduct of MSU officials who allowed this abuse to continue for over a decade. No real change has happened to prevent this in the future. No reforms. No admissions of wrongdoing. Institutional corruption wins again. The FBI’s investigation of Nasser is still under the microscope. This isn’t over.


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