- Mark Fainaru-Wada.
- Investigative journalist for ESPN’s Business and Investigations Department since 2007.
- Co-author of the New York Times Bounce League and Shadow Game bestsellers.
- Co-winner, 2004. The George Polk Award
- Mike Kessler.
An athletic trainer who was exposed by ESPN as an alleged serial rapist of boys and young men was arrested Wednesday for sexual assault and battery in connection with his work as a counselor at a camp in Massachusetts more than 40 years ago.
Conrad Avondale Mainwaring, a 69-year-old former Olympian, was arrested as he left the Los Angeles County Courthouse, where minutes earlier he had pleaded not guilty in a different but related case.
Mainwaring’s last arrest was in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, where he was charged with 12 counts of indecent assault three weeks ago. Nine of the charges involved alleged acts against boys 14 years of age or older and three of the charges involved alleged acts against boys under 14 years of age.
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The alleged crimes took place in the mid to late 1970s when Mainwaring worked as a counselor at the Greylock Boys’ Summer Sports Camp in the Berkshires. There, Mainwaring molested seven boys over a number of years, according to the indictment.
We want justice and accountability, especially for crimes against vulnerable people, said Andrea Harrington, Berkshire County District Attorney. And in this particular case, we are talking about young people who have been separated from their families and attacked by an adult who has taken advantage of their trust to abuse the relationship.
Mainwaring has lived in Los Angeles since the late 1980s and is now awaiting extradition to Massachusetts. Harrington said Mainwaring could face 12 to 36 months in prison under Massachusetts guidelines if convicted.
Previously, ESPN had identified more than 50 men in a nearly three-year investigation who reported being abused as children or young adults by Mainwaring from the early 1970s to 2016. In June 2019, Mainwaring was arrested in Los Angeles for sexually assaulting a 20-year-old UCLA student – a case that gained momentum due to an ESPN report. It has not responded to ESPN’s multiple requests for comment since 2019.
Minutes before his arrest on Wednesday, Mainwaring did not contest the Los Angeles case, but charged him with the crime of false imprisonment. He did not have to register as a sex offender, and this declaration does not prevent him from coaching boys or young men. He will receive two years of probation and must attend 52 sex offender courses and perform 30 days of community service.
The victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, told ESPN that he was initially concerned about what he considered a light sentence, but calmed down when he heard about the case in Massachusetts.
He said he didn’t think he could get away with it, which I tried to avoid. Knowing he would be arrested and possibly extradited, he did the right thing.
Conrad Mainwaring worked with hundreds of boys at Camp Greylock in the 1970s. Here’s his picture from the camp yearbook. Greylock Camp Directory
The Massachusetts case surfaced in the fall of 2019, shortly after ESPN published an article detailing the experiences of dozens of alleged victims, including seven at Camp Greylock. Shortly thereafter, Sergeant Stephen Jones of the Massachusetts State Police Detective Division began an investigation.
Although the statute of limitations for the alleged incidents expired decades ago, the plaintiffs argue that the statute of limitations was frozen – or expired – when Mainwaring left Massachusetts permanently in the late 1970s. The toll is designed to prevent someone from committing a crime in a state, leaving it before the statute of limitations has run out, and then returning without fear of prosecution. In this case, there is no evidence that Mainwaring continued to live in or returned to Massachusetts after completing his work at Camp Greylock.
I’m shocked that we’ve come this far and really happy, said John Shapiro, who is one of the alleged victims in the Massachusetts case and who previously told ESPN that he was 14 years old when he was molested by a roommate at Camp Greylock. I’m sure he’ll never do that to anyone again. Of course we all want justice and for him to be behind bars, but the main goal is to never hurt anyone again, that seems to be the reality.
According to Michael Waxman, another alleged victim in the Massachusetts case, who once told ESPN that Mainwaring bullied him when he was a 13-year-old camper at Greylock : I’m very happy about that. … I really think it’s necessary to put him in jail to protect other kids.
Mainwaring represented the small island of Antigua at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and went on to coach several top runners, including two-time gold medalist Felix Sanchez. (Sanchez is not one of Mainwaring’s plaintiffs).
Virtually all of his alleged victims stated that Mainwaring used his Olympic credentials and relationships with talented athletes, as well as his knowledge of psychology and physiology, to persuade them to train with him. They said he initiated sexual contact under the guise of mental training to get them to control and manipulate erections and testosterone levels to improve athletic performance.
After Camp Greylock, Mainwaring worked and studied for five years at Syracuse University, where 22 men told ESPN that he had assaulted them when they were students or high school students. He then spent nearly two years at Colgate University, where he allegedly raped three other young men. In 1987, he moved to Southern California to work for Caltech, which eventually fired Mainwaring in response to a student complaint.
Fifteen men reported sexual abuse in Mainwaring, California, many of whom attended UCLA and coached on the school’s athletic track, a public facility where Mainwaring is known to recruit and train athletes. So far, 52 men, boys and young men, have reported to ESPN that they were sexually abused by their former coach.
So far, 52 men have contacted ESPN claiming to have been sexually abused as children or adolescents in Mainwaring since the 1970s. Rachel Bujalski of ESPN
Although Mainwaring was not hired by UCLA, the UCLA Board of Regents was appointed in a civil suit in September. The lawsuit, filed by an anonymous plaintiff, alleges that Mainwaring used his relationship with UCLA track and field staff in 2011 to hit on and intimidate a man when he was in high school. The UCLA Athletic Department declined comment when ESPN first reported the lawsuit.
Also last year, Shapiro and another man, Robert Drueger, filed a civil suit against Syracuse University, alleging that the school had received credible reports of sexual abuse by Mainwaring in the 1980s but had taken no action against it. The complaints contain no details to support the allegation that Syracuse had prior knowledge of Mainwaring’s alleged abuses.
Syracuse, which was subsequently invited to comment on the trial, issued the following statement: Based on this extensive investigation, we were unable to locate or identify the individual who reported the alleged conduct to University officials at the time it occurred. Shapiro is also suing Camp Greylock.
The men who ran the camp when Mainwaring worked there died. After several fruitless attempts to contact the camp’s current owners, ESPN received an email from an attorney who stated that the last version of the camp had never had anything to do with Mainwaring.
Mark Fainaru-Wada has been the managing editor at ESPN since 2007. Contact him at [email protected] Mike Kessler is the managing editor of KPCC, the Los Angeles affiliate of National Public Radio. Contact him at [email protected] Freelance journalist Chole Marie Rivera contributed to this report.
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