Former Olympic hurdler accused of sexual abuse, including some in Syracuse

Local News

UNITED STATES (WSYR-TV) — A former Syracuse University grad student, who also spent time at Colgate University, has been accused by over a dozen men of sexually abusing them while he was in Central New York. Those accusations go back to the 1980s, but it was only about a year ago that Conrad Mainwaring’s story even surfaced when an investigative reporter got a tip and brought it to ESPN.

The network aired a story Thursday afternoon on it’s “Outside the Lines” program. Investigative reporters have been looking into Mainwaring’s history for about a year and part of that work led to his arrest in Los Angeles back in June for sexually abusing a boy there.

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

As part of ESPN’s work, they found 14 boys who claim Mainwaring sexually abused them in Syracuse.

Reporters say in 1980, Mainwaring was at Syracuse University pursuing a Master’s degree in counseling and guidance and he worked for the school in student housing.

Syracuse University issued the following statement Thursday:

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community:

I am writing to make you aware of a media report that details sexual abuse allegations against Conrad Mainwaring. I am bringing this to your attention because Mainwaring attended Syracuse University as a graduate student in the 1980s and also served as a student worker in Residence Life during that time. In June, the Los Angeles Police Department arrested Mainwaring on a charge of sexual misconduct that occurred in California in 2016. 

In February 2019, we learned of an allegation against Mainwaring that stems back to the 1980s. The University immediately contacted law enforcement, including authorities in Los Angeles. The University also retained an outside law firm with expertise in these matters to conduct a review. 

Our concern is for survivors. I remind our community of the many resources available, all of which can be accessed by visiting the “Resources” section on inclusion.syr.edu. Survivors can also contact our Department of Public Safety (315.443.2224dpsadmin@syr.edu); their local law enforcement; and/or our Title IX staff in the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services (315.443.4018equalopp@syr.eduinclusion.syr.edu/report/). 

Syracuse University condemns sexual misconduct, assault and harassment and has clear policies and procedures in place to support the reporting, investigation and adjudication of allegations. We work aggressively, along with our community members, to create a campus environment dedicated to the prevention of sexual violence and that is supportive of survivors who come forward to report any act of sexual misconduct. 

I am grateful to the individuals who have come forward to date, and strongly encourage anyone else with relevant information to contact us. Syracuse University remains committed to fostering a safe environment free of sexual harassment and sexual violence. 

Sincerely,


Chancellor Kent Syverud

ESPN’s reporting also says Mainwaring also kept office hours as a counselor at nearby Nottingham High School, according to two men who say they were minors when he abused them there. Five other local high school students say they were molested by Mainwaring during the same time period.

Thursday afternoon, the Syracuse City School District issued the following statement:

“We are aware of the recent story on ESPN and praise the victims who have come forward. Abuse of any kind is unacceptable and we commend those who have spoken out against it.

As we reported to ESPN, at no time was Mr. Mainwaring ever an employee of the Syracuse City School District nor do we have any record of him volunteering in the district.  The District was not aware of any allegations until contacted by ESPN.”

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick tells NewsChannel 9 Mainwaring will not be charged here because the statute of limitations for these cases ran out years ago.

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


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