BECKET — It all began with a tip to a freelance reporter at ESPN.
Andrew Zenoff, a California man, told reporter Mike Kessler that he and his brother had attended Camp Greylock for Boys in the 1970s. His brother Victor, he said, told him that, for three summers in a row, he had been sexually molested by the track coach — Conrad Mainwaring, a former Olympian.
Two weeks after confiding in Andrew about the abuse, Victor died in a fall while hiking at Yosemite National Park. He was not yet 18.
ESPN published the story, and the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office took note.
Now, after more than 40 years of accusations and complaints alleging that he abused dozens of boys and young men across the U.S., Mainwaring has been indicted by a Berkshire grand jury on charges stemming from the alleged assaults at Camp Greylock, off Route 20 in Becket.
He was indicted Jan. 27 on nine counts of indecent assault and battery for alleged crimes against boys 14 or older, and three counts for alleged abuse of boys younger than 14, according to the DA’s Office.
Authorities arrested Mainwaring, 69, on a fugitive from justice warrant as he left a Los Angeles County courthouse Wednesday, after a plea in a separate case from 2019. In that case, police say he abused one of his male athletes at a track in West Los Angeles “under the guise of physical therapy and mental focus training,” according to a Los Angeles Police Department release.
The Berkshire DA’s Office is seeking Mainwaring’s extradition to face trial in the Berkshires, according to a Thursday release about the case.
“My office is dedicated to holding perpetrators of these crimes accountable to help the victims heal,” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said in a prepared statement. “We are grateful to the victims for having the courage to tell their stories.”
Harrington also thanked “the State Police detectives who developed and brought this case to this point and the Grand Jury for their careful consideration of the facts.”
The statute of limitations, technically long expired, was frozen when Mainwaring moved out of Massachusetts in the late 1970s, according to the DA’s Office. If found guilty, Mainwaring could face 12 to 36 months in prison.
Mainwaring’s accusers told ESPN they are “shocked” and “happy” that he is being prosecuted.
Andrew Zenoff said his older brother Victor “spun into a life of drugs and risky behavior after his alleged abuse by Conrad Mainwaring” at the camp. He said he believed his death was related to the alleged assaults.
The sports network had interviewed dozens of those accusers for its series, “44 Years. 41 Allegations. Now the Past is Catching Up.”
Over the years, there were more than 52 men who told ESPN that Mainwaring abused them when they were young. The accusations range from the early 1970s to 2016. He was arrested again in the 2019 L.A. case and charged with “sexual battery by fraud.”
He was released after pleading to a charge of felony false imprisonment.
“He was not required to register as a sex offender, nor does the plea preclude him from coaching boys or young men,” ESPN reported, noting he received two years’ probation, 52 sexual offender classes and 30 days of community service.
Mainwaring ran for Antigua in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, and later coached Olympic runners.
He went on to work at various colleges and universities, where complaints were made against him, ESPN reported.
Over the years, accusers have filed civil suits against the University of California board of regents and Syracuse University, alleging that the schools did not act to protect students from Mainwaring.
The camp changed ownership and management in 1995, according to the camp’s website. The owners and longtime athletic director did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.
Attempts to contact Mainwaring were unsuccessful.