25 Investigates: Charges dropped against professional basketball trainer in alleged date rape case

Massachusetts prosecutors will no longer pursue charges against a professional trainer for NBA stars who had been accused of drugging and raping a woman in Boston last year.

Wednesday, the state filed a nolle proseqiui, a decline to prosecute motion, acknowledging they could not prove the charges against Warwick, Rhode Island native Robert McClanaghan, Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden announced.

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

DA Hayden added in a statement, “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. 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.”

In an exclusive interview with 25 Investigates, McClanaghan said the news came as a relief.

“So you’re obviously relieved, but also, you know, sad, but also still angry that this could happen to me right from the beginning,” said McClanaghan, who spoke to investigative reporter Ted Daniel by video from his home in Rhode Island.

“Right now, I’m just focusing on the family,” McClanaghan said. “My friends, I got a big nine-year-old (basketball) tournament this weekend on Cape Cod that I’m ready for. But, you know, step by step, day by day. The goal is to get back to where I was.”

In November, a woman accused McClanaghan of sprinkling something in her drink at a bar and then taking her to a hotel room where they had sex. Prosecutors have said the alleged drink spiking can be seen on surveillance video.

McClanaghan exchanged sexual messages with the woman and sent her a photo of two people engaging in a sexual act the following day.

McClanaghan had his bail slashed from $30,000 to $10,000 in January after his attorney, Kelli Porges, challenged key components of the case. A toxicology test conducted by the State Lab found no commonly known date rape drugs in the system of McClanaghan’s accuser. Porges said Alprazolam and Amphetamines were detected in the woman, but according to Porges, those pharmaceuticals were at levels that would have not caused the symptoms the accuser has alleged.

In a court filing, McClanaghan’s attorney also wrote, “the video unequivocally shows the complainant watching the defendant jokingly and in full view pretend to put something in her drink to which she slaps his hand away, laughs and continues the date. The video depicts her walking to the elevator and to her hotel room in high-heeled boots without issue after leaving the bar over two hours later.”

McClanaghan has worked with NBA stars such as Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook. According to his website, McClanaghan touts himself as “the premier skills development trainer for top players in the NBA.”

“The goal is to get back to where I was, work-wise, financially, and just do what I love to do, whether it’s training guys, whether it’s speaking mental health, whether it’s coaching my kids,” he said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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