Ex-Olympian Hears His Fate on Abusing Child Athletes

Conrad Mainwaring gets 10-plus years in prison for abusing 9 boys—a fraction of his alleged victims
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2024 10:20 AM CST
Ex-Olympian Abused Child Athletes He Promised to Better
Ex-Olympian Conrad Mainwaring pleads guilty in Berkshire County Superior Court on Feb. 8 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.   (Stephanie Zollshan/The Berkshire Eagle via AP)

A former Olympian hurdler turned track coach has been sentenced to more than a decade in prison for sexually abusing nine boys, though the district attorney said the sentence was only "partial justice because we know the defendant had victims far beyond those named in today's case." The nine victims attended a sports camp in Becket, Massachusetts, dubbed Camp Greylock for Boys, per NBC News. Conrad Mainwaring, 72, who launched a career as a track coach after representing Antigua and Barbuda at the 1976 Summer Olympics, worked at the camp from 1976 to 1979. There, he "used his Olympic status" to groom boys he believed "would not speak up," District Attorney Timothy Shugrue told Berkshire County Superior Court, per the AP.

Shugrue said Mainwaring concealed his sexual abuse behind massages and "relaxation trainings" he said would make the children better athletes, per Syracuse.com. He also claimed children who tolerated uncomfortable situations showed they had the mental toughness to be world-class athletes, per CNN. Victim John Shapiro said the abuse left his life "devoid of hope," per the AP. "I didn't deserve to feel disgusted with myself," victim Michael Waxman added as Mainwaring pleaded guilty to 14 charges of indecent assault and battery on a child. "You did and you do." Mainwaring was sentenced to up to 11 years in a state prison, to be followed by three years of probation. Shugrue credited the brave survivors, their families, and "the dedication of ESPN's investigative journalists" with the outcome, per NBC.

The district attorney's office launched an investigation only after a 2019 ESPN report alleged Mainwaring had abused more than 50 males at Camp Greylock; Syracuse University in New York, where he helped the track and field team and worked as dorm counselor in the 1980s; and Syracuse's Nottingham High School, where he also worked as a counselor. The report was published just weeks after Mainwaring was arrested on a charge of molesting a California college student under the guise of therapy and training, per NBC. He pleaded no contest in that case and received probation. Shapiro previously alleged Mainwaring abused more than 400 men across two continents over five decades, per the Daily Orange. SU is named in ongoing lawsuits related to the alleged abuse. (More sexual abuse stories.)

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