The office of Suffolk District Attorney Kevin R. Hayden said “they no longer believe they can prove the two charges filed against McClanaghan, rape and drugging someone for sexual intercourse, beyond a reasonable doubt.”
This is a complete 180 from how the prosecutors felt about the case in November. At the time Hayden believed there was significant evidence against McClanaghan.
“I applaud everyone from law enforcement [and] the people from my office who did an amazing job in putting this case together,” Hayden said after McClanaghan’s arraignment via The Boston Globe. “There’s a lot of video evidence in this case. There’s other physical evidence that comes to bear that makes us confident that we can prove this case, regardless of what the toxicology tells us. … We will do everything we can to hold this man accountable for the crimes he committed.”
The video evidence that Hayden spoke of in November was video footage from the hotel bar that allegedly showed McClanaghan sprinkling something in the woman’s drink, and also hallway footage of them both entering her hotel room.
The woman called the police and responding detectives noted bruising on her knees, ankles, hips, neck, arms, and back. Assistant District Attorney Erin Murphy said the woman showed detectives a photo that McClanaghan sent to her phone the next morning which “depicted a man performing sexual acts on a woman on a bed similar to the victim’s hotel bed.” Additionally, the victim said that her underwear was missing, and was found at McClanaghan’s home — along with other women’s underwear — after investigators executed a search warrant of his place, per Murphy.
“Based on a review of all available evidence, including information that emerged after the defendant’s arrest, the Commonwealth has determined it cannot prove these charges beyond a reasonable doubt at trial,” the prosecutors wrote in the document.
McClanaghan’s attorney, Kelli Porges, argued that the video showed her client playfully pretending to put something in the drink while the alleged victim was watching him; the video from the hallway shows them both willingly walking into her hotel room; and that picture he sent was from an adult website.
Porges said the decision to drop the case shows that her client is innocent.
“Rob and his family are relieved that this nightmare is over and that he has been exonerated,” Porges said in a statement. “Rob has maintained his innocence from the very beginning of this case and now he has been vindicated.”
In 2022, a disturbing number of stories were being posted on social media about women being drugged and assaulted at Boston-area bars. It was happening so frequently that Boston police put out a warning for people to only accept drinks from bartenders and carefully monitor those drinks at all times.
Now less than four months after the prosecution talked chest out about a rock-solid case, it has shrunk away with a written statement about why charges were dropped.
All those Boston area women who posted about their assaults instead of going to the police, will now be further discouraged from doing so in light of the decision made by Suffolk County.