A basketball trainer who’s worked with NBA stars including Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James is facing criminal charges after cops arrested him for allegedly drugging and raping a woman he met on a dating app in Massachusetts.
On Tuesday, Robert McClanaghan pleaded not guilty to rape and drugging for intercourse at a hearing in Boston. He was released on $30,000 bail and ordered to have no contact with the victim, surrender his passport, and wear a GPS tracking device.
After the proceeding, prosecutors released more details on the disturbing allegations: McClanaghan was captured on surveillance footage sprinkling something into the woman’s drink. And he allegedly texted the victim a photograph of the alleged assault, which occurred in her downtown Boston hotel room, the next morning.
The Suffolk County district attorney also said investigators executed a search warrant on McClanaghan’s Rhode Island home and found the victim’s underwear, as well as other women’s underwear, and bondage gear.
McClanaghan, 43, was arrested in Rhode Island on Friday and charged as a fugitive from justice. The Boston Police Department said members of its fugitive and sexual assault units, along with police in Warwick, Rhode Island, apprehended the trainer on an arrest warrant stemming from the alleged assault in Boston.
On Monday, McClanaghan appeared before a Rhode Island judge who ruled against allowing him to travel to Boston on his own to face charges. The Kent County magistrate ordered McClanaghan to be held until police could pick him up.
Daniel Griffin, an attorney for the high-profile skills trainer, declined to comment.
At Monday’s arraignment, Griffin had unsuccessfully argued for his client’s release. “His family is here, his sister is here from Massachusetts and the rest of his family is here,” Griffin told the court. “If you release him today he’s going to get in his sister’s car and he’s going to go to Boston. We have attorneys arranged up there.”
“I appreciate that,” Magistrate Joseph Ippolito said, “and not on this level of charge.”
Police began investigating McClanaghan in early November, when the victim was treated at a local hospital. According to NBC10 Boston, a criminal complaint alleges Boston cops were called to an emergency room on Nov. 4 over a suspected sexual assault.
The victim told cops that she met McClanaghan in Providence, Rhode Island, two days prior, after connecting with him on a dating app. She said she met McClanaghan again on Nov. 3 at a hotel restaurant in downtown Boston, where they had one or two drinks before heading up to the woman’s hotel room.
McClanaghan was captured on the hotel bar’s surveillance footage “manipulating his front left pocket with his left hand,” according to the complaint.
“Seconds later, while staring at the victim’s drink, the suspect places his left hand over the victim’s drink, and makes a sprinkling motion with his left hand consistent with how a substance would be placed into a drink,” the document adds.
The victim seemed to be unaware of McClanaghan’s motions and consumed her beverage, the complaint states.
The woman told police that she blacked out shortly after she and McClanaghan got to her room. Her last memory of that evening was trying to remove her belt, according to the criminal complaint reviewed by NBC10. The victim woke up naked and alone and with “extensive bruising,” the court documents state. (ABC6 reported the woman had bruises and blood on the lower half of her body.)
McClanaghan texted the victim the following day, sending her a photograph of him engaged in a sex act with a woman in bondage, the complaint continues. The man in the picture wore a watch similar to one worn by McClanaghan, and the woman in the photo appeared to be the victim and on the victim’s hotel bed, the filing adds.
According to the complaint, the woman told investigators she didn’t remember the sexual activity in the photograph and could not or would not have consented to it. She also told police her underwear was missing.
“The victim states that in her blacked out or drugged state she did not have the ability or capability to consent to any sexual acts,” the document states.
Authorities shared few details on the charges after McClanaghan’s arrest. In a statement, Boston police warned the public about “the dangerousness of scentless, colorless, and tasteless drugs such as Rohypnol, also known as roofie, being placed in the drinks of unsuspecting victims” and drugs including GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) and 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,” police said.
A probable cause hearing in McClanaghan’s case is scheduled for Jan. 30.
In a media kit on his website, McClanaghan is described as a speaker, author, and trainer who specializes in “transforming walk-ons into starters.”
“Rob currently trains some of the top players in the NBA and WNBA, including MVPs Candace Parker, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook,” his website states. “Rob has also worked with Kevin Love, Al Horford, John Wall along with dozens of other notable players.
Indeed, Curry wrote the foreword to McClanaghan’s 2020 book Net Work.
“Guys around the league ask me all the time whether they should work with Rob, and I tell them the same thing. If you’re willing to commit to him, he will commit to you,” Curry wrote, adding, “I think it’s great that Rob is enjoying so much success because he deserves it.”