A former Olympian and longtime track coach pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of sexually molesting young boys while working at a sports camp in western Massachusetts in the 1970s.
Conrad Mainwaring, who was a hurdler for Antigua and Barbuda in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, faced 12 counts of indecent assault and battery on a child over 14 and four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 in Berkshire Superior Court. The charges involved nine male victims.
In a pattern that repeated itself over the years, prosecutors detailed case after case in which Mainwaring leveraged his Olympic credentials as part of a grooming technique used on boys attending Camp Greylock, making the youngsters believe that the sexual assault would make them better athletes. The abuse took place in the woods around the camp, in a van and near a tennis court among other places.
After details of the cases were presented, Mainwaring, in a wheelchair and wearing a mask, said “yes” when asked by the judge if he committed the offenses laid out in court. He then said “guilty” after each of the charges was read out.
Mainwaring, a 72-year-old Los Angeles resident and United Kingdom national, molested campers from 1975 to 1979 while working as a counselor at Camp Greylock in Becket. Authorities have said they believe there are “many other victims" in several states and outside the United States.
Some of the camp victims — who were as young as 13 and as old as 19 — testified at Thursday's hearing, recalling the shame and the damage the abuse has caused them. One victim called Mainwaring a danger to young men, calling for a long jail sentence, arguing that he be kept away from boys or young men and barred from coaching.
Massachusetts authorities started investigating Mainwaring following a 2019 ESPN report in which more than 50 men alleged they were abused by him, some of them at Camp Greylock. He was arrested in 2021 on a fugitive warrant as he left a Los Angeles County courthouse after a plea in a separate case from 2019.
“Everyone who brought Conrad Mainwaring to justice deserves our thanks, including law enforcement, the district attorney, the journalists at ESPN, and especially the courageous men who shared their stories deserve the most gratitude,” said Saul Wolf, an attorney whose firm represents seven victims and filed lawsuits against Syracuse University in New York, the Syracuse school district and the Massachusetts camp.
“Now that Mainwaring intends to enter a guilty plea and take responsibility, it is time for Syracuse University and Camp Greylock to accept responsibility and be held accountable," he added.