A private track coach and former Olympic athlete was arrested Wednesday amid allegations of years of sexual abuse against athletes who trained with him, authorities said.
Conrad Avondale Mainwaring, 67, is accused of molesting a male athlete “under the guise of physical therapy and mental focus training,” according to an LAPD news release. He has been charged with one felony count of sexual battery, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.
Det. Sharlene Johnson said the interaction occurred during a physical therapy session in 2016 with one of Mainwaring’s athletes, who competed in running events.
The Antigua native has coached Olympic and collegiate athletes across the United States and most recently was based in West Los Angeles, officials said.
An investigation by ESPN uncovered allegations that Mainwaring abused 31 men during a 44-year period. Additional victims came forward, Johnson said, but police were unable to file criminal charges in other cases because the statute of limitations had passed.
Police said that as athletes worked with Mainwaring to reach optimum fitness levels, they became extremely dedicated to the coach.
“That put him in a really great position to maneuver the athletes,” Johnson said.
ESPN reported that the abuse took place at summer camps and college campuses across the United States and that the youngest victim was 14. Mainwaring declined to comment on what the network called “a pattern of allegations … dating from the mid-1970s to as recently as 2016.”
Mainwaring, who was born in the Caribbean but grew up in England, competed in the 1976 Olympics representing his home country, now known as Antigua and Barbuda, in the hurdles, ESPN reported.
Mainwaring pleaded not guilty Thursday and is due back in court July 10. His bail is set at $100,000. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.