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Suffolk DA drops rape charges against NBA trainer

The Suffolk County District Attorney has dropped the charges against a Rhode Island-based NBA trainer accused of drugging and raping a woman at a Boston hotel in November.

Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden’s office filed papers Wednesday to dismiss the case against Robert McClanaghan, 43, of Rhode Island. The documents say prosecutors no longer believe they have enough evidence to support the charges against him.

“Based on a review of all available evidence, including information that emerged after the defendant’s arrest, the Commonwealth has determined it cannot prove these charges beyond a reasonable doubt at trial,” prosecutors wrote in a document notifying the court.

The case marked the first time Hayden pursued charges against someone who allegedly drugged and raped a woman.

The woman said she had drinks with McClanaghan and they went to her Boston hotel room. She said she blacked out and when she woke up the following day, she did not remember what happened. She was injured and called a crisis hotline and notified Boston police.

At the time of McClanaghan's arrest, prosecutors said they had evidence, including surveillance footage, that substantiated the charges that the woman was drugged and raped. They do not say specifically what led them to drop the case.

“Our responsibility in all cases is to follow the evidence wherever it leads. In some cases that endeavor does not add up to a viable prosecution,” Hayden said in a statement. “We have a duty to recognize that conclusion and to take the appropriate action when it is reached. We have taken that appropriate action today. Out of respect for the privacy of all parties involved we will have no further comment.”

McClanaghan’s defense attorney Kelli Porges said the decision to drop the case shows that her client is innocent.

“Rob and his family are relieved that this nightmare is over and that he has been exonerated,” Porges said in a statement. “Rob has maintained his innocence from the very beginning of this case and now he has been vindicated.”

Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.



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