A Rhode Island man, whose website says he has trained a number of current and former Celtics players and NBA All-Stars, is facing multiple charges in connection with a rape that occurred in downtown Boston where the victim was allegedly drugged, police said Saturday.
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 Boston Police Department fugitive unit took McClanaghan to the Warwick, RI, police department for booking.
Boston police did not provide any more information about when or where the alleged rape occurred, or say how they identified McClanaghan as the suspect, only noting that McClanaghan's arrest was the result of a joint investigation by the department's sexual assault unit and the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office.
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Resources for victims of sexual assault are available through the National Sexual Violence Resources Center and the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-4673, and Massachusetts provides this list of statewide and resources for sexual assault survivors.
The Suffolk County DA's Office would not confirm McClanaghan is an NBA skills trainer, but a photo posted to McClanaghan's website matches the mugshot provided to NBC10 Boston by the Warwick Police Department.
The DA's office released a statement later Saturday saying, "This arrest is 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 DA's office said the victim in this case will be provided with all possible support as the case moves through the court process.
McClanaghan will be arraigned on Monday at the Third District Court in Kent County, RI, where he will be charged as a fugitive from justice, police said. It was not immediately clear if he had obtained an attorney who could speak to the charges he's facing.
Boston police are also reminding people about the dangerousness of so-called date-rape drugs. They are scentless, colorless, and tasteless drugs such as Rohypnol -- also known as roofie -- that are placed in the drinks of unsuspecting victims. Other drugs commonly used in a similar fashion are GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) or Ketamine.
These drugs and substances can cause disorientation, confusion, temporary paralysis, or unconsciousness, along with a host of other symptoms, leaving the potential victim vulnerable to the intentions of the suspect.
In recent months, there has been an alarming number of people sharing stories on social media claiming they were roofied at Boston area bars. Boston police have urged anyone who thinks they are a victim of drink spiking to come forward.
Police are reminding everyone to take extra precautions to ensure their safety:
- Be sure that your drink is being served directly by the bartender or server, and don’t allow people you don’t know to order your drinks.
- Never leave your drink unattended.
- Cover your drink when you’re not looking at it.
- Get help if you feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed or strange in any way.
Police also advise people to be aware of any uncharacteristic behavior from acquaintances or strangers attempting to get people away from their friends.
The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) offers resources for survivors and the community. You can reach them at their 24/7 confidential hotline by calling 800-841-8371.