LANSING, Mich. -- Shortly after former sports doctor Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing came to a close Wednesday, a former gymnast who trained under suspended USA Gymnastics coach John Geddert said Geddert should be the next to go to prison.
Lindsey Lemke, who trained with Geddert at Twistars Gymnastics before joining the Michigan State team, outlined the behavior he used to try to motivate his athletes during a news conference Wednesday afternoon in Lansing.
"He was abusive," Lemke said. "He deserves to be in jail with Larry."
USA Gymnastics suspended Geddert, a longtime friend of Nassar and the head coach of the 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning team, last week amid reports about his questionable coaching tactics as well as complaints about him during victim-impact statements at Nassar's sentencing hearing. Geddert sent a letter Tuesday to members of the Twistars club to tell them he planned to retire while denying he did anything to create an unsafe environment at his gym.
Geddert twice has been investigated by police for reports of physical assault. Nassar helped convince one of the women who complained about Geddert to the police several years ago to retract her complaint.
Nassar was sentenced Wednesday to a minimum of 40 years in state prison at the conclusion of a seven-day hearing that included victim impact statements from more than 150 women and girls. Several who provided statements used a portion of their time to allege that Nassar gained the trust of young girls by playing good cop to Geddert's bad cop.
"[Geddert's] abuse was your fuel," Bailey Lorencen told Nassar in court. "You used his abuse to mask your own pathetic pleasure."
Lorencen told the court that Geddert picked her up off the floor after she broke a bone in her back and forced her to continue practicing. She said a doctor later told her that it was "a miracle" she was not paralyzed.
Makayla Thrush, another former Twistars gymnast, said Geddert ended her career when he pushed her against a training apparatus, tearing muscles in her stomach.
"You told me to kill myself not just once, but many other times," Thrush said about Geddert. "After you ended my career, I tried."
Several other gymnasts and parents who watched Geddert coach said he regularly berated young girls in his program and pushed them or stepped on their toes to get their attention.
Outside the Lines reached out to Geddert several times for comment before detailing some of the allegations against him in a recent story. He and his attorney both declined to comment.