2 men file lawsuits against Syracuse University, others over abuse allegations

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Two men who accused a former Syracuse University grad student of sexual abuse have filed lawsuits Syracuse University and others.

Conrad Mainwaring was investigated by ESPN for a year, which lead to his arrest in Los Angeles in June of 2019.

Mainwaring was raised in England and competed for Antigua-Barbuda as a hurdler in the 1976 Olympics.

The accusations against Mainwaring date back to the 1980s.

After 40 alleged victims, an ESPN investigation uncovered new details about the alleged sexual abuse by Mainwaring.

ESPN found 14 men who claimed Mainwaring sexually abused them in Syracuse. They also found 2 men who attended Colgate University and also accused Mainwaring of sexual abuse. They all claimed that they were abused by Mainwaring while training with him.

According to ESPN, Mainwaring was at SU in 1980 pursuing a Master’s degree in counseling and guidance. He also worked for SU in student housing.

SU issued a statement in August of 2019 after seeing the report of the allegations. The Syracuse City School District also released a statement.

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick told NewsChannel 9 in August that Mainwaring would not be charged in Syracuse because the statute of limitations for these cases ran out years ago.

Colgate University confirmed to NewsChannel 9 in August that Mainwaring worked at that school for about two years after leaving SU in 1985.

Now, two of the men who accused Mainwaring of sexual abuse have filed a lawsuit against several people.

Robert Druger filed a lawsuit against SU, the Board of Trustees at SU, the Syracuse City School District and the Board of Education for the city school district.

According to the lawsuit, Druger is a resident of Onondaga County.

The lawsuit states that Mainwaring was hired to work at Camp Greylock in Becket, Massachusetts to help young, male athletes who attended the summer camps.

He worked there in the mid to late 1970s. He was then employed by SU around 1980 and allegedly worked for the university until 1986.

According to the lawsuit, SU allowed Mainwaring to “have young minor boys as well as young male college students to stay with him overnight and meet with him privately in his dormitory room.”

“As a result… Mainwaring was able to groom, sexually prey upon, sexually abuse and sexually assault Plaintiff [Druger] and numerous other minor high school boys and young male college students.”

Robert Druger lawsuit

Druger was allegedly abused from the time he was 17-years-old until he graduated from SU.

The lawsuit accuses SU of receiving credible reports of sexual abuse done by Mainwaring, but “failed to report or conduct proper investigations…”

Mainwaring was also employed by the Syracuse City School District at Nottingham High School in or around 1980 and provided private counseling sessions to high schoolers.

The lawsuit claims that Mainwaring was not properly certified or licensed while he worked at the school.

“Throughout Mainwaring’s employment, and while he held an office at Nottingham, Mainwaring sexually abused, sexually assaulted, and perpetrated egregious sexual misconduct against minor high schoolers, including Plaintiff [Druger], a minor at the time.”

Robert Druger lawsuit

It also claims that the school district had “actual and constructive notice” of what Mainwaring was doing, but still allowed him to work there.

Druger is suing Syracuse University for negligence, gross negligence, recklessness and failure to exercise a reasonable standard of care.

He is also suing the university for negligent hiring, negligent supervision, negligent retention and negligent training.

Druger is suing the Syracuse City School District for negligence, gross negligence, recklessness and failure to exercise a reasonable standard of care.

He is also suing the school district for negligent hiring, negligent supervision, negligent retention, negligent training and breach of mandatory and unqualified duty to supervise.

All of the defendants – SU, the Board of Trustees at SU, the Syracuse City School District and the Board of Education for the city school district – are being sued by Druger for absolute liability and/or negligence.

John Shapiro also filed a lawsuit on February 25, the same day as Druger.

Shapiro filed a lawsuit against SU, the Board of Trustees at SU and Camp Greylock, Inc.

Shapiro first attended Camp Greylock around 1974 as a camper at the overnight summer camp.

When he was 12-years-old, around 1977, the lawsuit claims that Shapiro attended the camp and “Mainwaring began interacting, grooming and preying upon” him.

The lawsuit states that this abuse continued in 1978 and worsened in 1979.

“At one point, Mainwaring was permitted to remove Plaintiff [Shapiro] from a camp activity and take Plaintiff [Shapiro] alone to a secluded area on the campground. Mainwaring forcibly touched, groped, and held down Plaintiff [Shapiro] as he forced his tongue into Plaintiff’s [Shapiro’s] mouth.”

John Shapiro lawsuit

Shapiro claims in the lawsuit that Camp Greylock had “actual and constructive notice” about Mainwaring’s actions and allowed him to continue working there.

The lawsuit then claims that around 1981, when Shapiro was 16-years-old, SU let him visit with Mainwaring and stay with him overnight for at least two consecutive nights.

“During this time, Mainwaring was able to use his residential dormitory room to meet with Plaintiff [Shapiro] under the guise of ‘physiotherapy,’ ‘physical therapy’ and mental training sessions.”

John Shapiro lawsuit

SU allegedly let Shapiro visit and stay another two nights again in 1982. According to the lawsuit, during the visit Mainwaring “sexually abused, molested and sexually assaulted” Shapiro multiple times.

This sexual abuse had continued to happen throughout Mainwaring’s employment and residence at SU, according to the lawsuit.

“Despite these credible reports, Defendant Syracuse University knowingly and willfully failed to conduct proper investigations into the reports of Mainwaring’s perpetration and Mainwaring was permitted to continuing abuse students in his Syracuse dormitory.”

John Shapiro lawsuit

Shapiro is suing Camp Greylock for negligence, gross negligence, recklessness and failure to exercise a reasonable standard of care.

He is also suing them for negligent hiring, negligent retention, negligent training and negligent supervision.

Shapiro is suing SU for negligence, gross negligence, recklessness and failure to exercise a reasonable standard of care.

He is also suing them for negligent hiring, negligent supervision, negligent retention and negligent training.

All of the defendants – SU, the Board of Trustees at SU and Camp Greylock, Inc. – are being sued by Shapiro for absolute liability and/or negligence.

SU sent the following statement on Tuesday:

“Syracuse University first learned of these allegations in February 2019. When we learned of the allegations, we immediately contacted federal and local law enforcement and initiated an independent review of Mr. Mainwaring’s time on campus. Based on that exhaustive review, we have been unable to locate or identify any individual who reported the alleged conduct to University officials when it occurred. We have since been in contact with an individual who was impacted and have offered support and resources. “

Sarah Scalese, SAVP for Communications at Syracuse University

Full Robert Druger lawsuit


Full John Shapiro lawsuit


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