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Trainer Who Worked With NBA Stars Facing Rape Charge Appears In Rhode Island Court, Waives Extradition

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A man who has apparently trained various Celtics players and some NBA All-Stars appeared in court Monday on a fugitive from justice charge.

Robert McClanaghan, 43, of Warwick, Rhode Island, was arrested Friday in East Greenwich. He was wanted on a warrant out of Boston Municipal Court for charges of rape and drugging for intercourse.

He faced a judge Monday in Kent County, Rhode Island, on the additional fugitive from justice charge, where he waived extradition and was held without bail. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said it expects him to be transported from Rhode Island to Massachusetts sometime Monday night to be arraigned Tuesday morning.

A spokesperson for district attorney’s office noted this is the first case in which it has filed charges for drugged rape.

Robert McClanaghan, 43, of Warwick, Rhode Island, was arrested Friday in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.

In Warwick, Robert McClanaghan was formerly employed at Bishop Hendricken High School from 2002 through 2005. During that time, he was a physical education teacher and assistant basketball coach.

Court paperwork lists McClanaghan’s attorney as Dan Griffin. He had no comment when reached by NBC10 Boston on Monday.

The alleged rape happened in Downtown Boston on Thursday, Nov. 17, according to court documents. Police have released no other information about the incident.

Resources for victims of sexual assault are available through the National Sexual Violence Resources Center and the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-4673and Massachusetts provides this list of statewide and resources for sexual assault survivors.

According to the Boston Police Department, Robert McClanaghan, 43, of Warwick, RI, was arrested Friday in East Greenwich, RI, by members of the department’s sexual assault unit. McClanaghan was wanted on a warrant out of Boston Municipal Court on charges of rape and drugging for intercourse.

The DA’s office said Saturday McClanaghan’s arrest was the result of “superb work by the BPD Sexual Assault Unit and members of our Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, working with information provided by the victim.”

The Celtics declined to comment Monday except to say McClanaghan was not employed by their organization.

“This is devastating, and my heart goes out to the victim of this heinous crime,” said Boston City Councilor Gabriela Coletta. “It’s unspeakable, and I’m glad to hear that there is some justice, but we never know and there will never be enough justice to best serve this victim.”

Coletta called for a city council hearing on spiked drinks last month after a rise in reports of incidents in Boston bars and restaurants. She said it helped the city identify opportunities it can explore to foster safe environments across the city.

She said the Boston Police Department identified the need for better reporting mechanisms that can enable them to track trends and better identify where and when the incidents are happening. She said the licensing board also indicated that they would like to reward restaurants and venues who do come forward.

“The licensing board has also indicated that they would like to reward restaurants and venues who do come forward to report an incident,” said Coletta. “Many restaurant owners said in the hearing that they are feeling fearful that they could be cited for overserving, for example, despite the fact that they are going above and beyond trying to help.”

During the hearing, Kathleen Joyce, chairwoman of the Boston Licensing Board, said the board has held eight hearings on alleged drugging, and not one has resulted in a violation because they have not been able to prove someone’s drink had been drugged by someone or that the licensed premises was responsible for that.

“Short of videos of someone placing a substance inside a drink, that drink being tested, and that person going to the hospital and being tested, we wouldn’t be able to find liability on the part of a licensed premises,” Joyce said during the hearing.

Coletta added McClanaghan’s arrest sends a message.

“I think it will have a chilling effect on the perpetrators as it should be, they should be put on notice given this arrest,” she said.

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