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R.I. basketball skills trainer arrested on rape, drugging charges for Boston incident

A Rhode Island man and well-known skills trainer to NBA players has been arrested for rape and drugging charges by Boston police, officials said Saturday.

Robert McClanaghan.Warwick Police Department

Robert McClanaghan, 43, of Warwick, was arrested Friday in East Greenwich by members of the Boston Police Sexual Assault Unit, Boston Police Fugitive Unit, and Warwick Police Department, police said in a news release.

McClanaghan was arrested on a warrant issued Thursday out of Boston Municipal Court on charges of rape and drugging for intercourse for an incident that happened in downtown Boston, the release said.

The Suffolk district attorney’s office was also involved in the investigation, officials said.


“This arrest is the result of superb work by the BPD Sexual Assault Unit and members of our Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, working with information provided by the victim,” a spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office said. “Our prosecutors and victim witness advocates will provide the victim with all possible support as the case moves through the court process.”

Police provided no specific details about when or where the alleged rape occurred, but issued a warning about so-called date-rape drugs with its announcement of McClanaghan’s arrest.

“The Boston Police Department advises the public of the dangerousness of scentless, colorless, and tasteless drugs such as Rohypnol, also known as roofie, being placed in the drinks of unsuspecting victims,” police said. “Other drugs commonly used in a similar fashion are GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) or 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.”

The warning is the latest Boston police issued after a summer in which the department received multiple reports of alleged drugged drinks at clubs and bars in the city, the Globe reported.


Police in Warwick declined to comment Saturday evening, as did police in East Greenwich.

Sources confirmed McClanaghan is a basketball trainer.

A noted trainer who has worked with NBA stars such as Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, McClanaghan started his career as a physical education teacher and assistant basketball coach at Bishop Hendricken, a private, all-boys school in Warwick, the Globe reported last month.

There, he met Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla, who as a freshman in 2003, was essentially McClanaghan’s first client, according to the Globe story.

McClanaghan will be arraigned on Monday at the Third District Court in Kent County, R.I., where he will be charged as a fugitive from justice, police said.

Kathy McCabe of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

Tonya Alanez can be reached at Follow her @talanez.