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A former University of Maine baseball pitcher has been charged with raping six women in his home state of Delaware.
Clay Conaway, who attended UMaine during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years before transferring to the University of Delaware, allegedly committed the sexual assaults over the past five years.
One woman reported to police that he raped her in June in Georgetown, Delaware. After her story became public, five other women came forward to tell police he had raped them, too, including during his time in high school, according to The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware.
He faces seven charges: one count of first-degree rape and six counts of second-degree rape. In addition to the alleged assault in June, police said two others occurred in 2018, one in 2017 and two in 2013, all in Sussex County, Delaware. Conaway has pleaded not guilty.
UMaine officials said they received no reports of sexual misconduct by Conaway when he was a student.
“With any student-athlete, if there had been any kind of indication [pertaining to Conaway’s off-field behavior], no matter how small or big, we would have acted upon it. We would have reported it to our superiors,” said one former member of the coaching staff, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Not only do we have a legal obligation to do that, but we mentor our kids to do the right thing. All coaches do.”
Conaway, who is from Georgetown, Delaware, and was a former high school All-American wrestler, appeared in eight baseball games for UMaine during the 2015 season and was 1-0 with a 6.23 earned run average in eight appearances spanning 13 innings. Because of poor performance, Conaway saw no game action during the 2016 season.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pound player left UMaine in May 2016 because he “wanted to go some place where he would get more playing time, and we granted his release,” the former coach said.
After sitting out a year due to National Collegiate Athletic Association transfer guidelines, Conaway pitched last spring for the University of Delaware. He appeared in 22 games, all in relief, and was 0-0 with two saves and a 2.48 ERA.
The current head coach, Nick Derba, who was an assistant coach when Conaway was on the team, also said he “knew of no reports of misconduct against Clay Conaway during his time at UMaine.”
Derba spoke to five players who were on the team with Conaway who all said they had no knowledge of any reports of misconduct either, he said.
Conaway will next appear in Sussex County Superior Court on Dec. 3.
He had been jailed in the Sussex County Correctional Institution in Georgetown, Delaware, but was released on a $310,000 bond Oct. 1.
His parents, Timothy and Mary Conaway, put up four Sussex County properties to pay for his bail. He is subject to home confinement and is not allowed to contact the alleged victims or their families, or to be alone with women other than family members.
Conaway no longer attends the university. The News Journal obtained university correspondence that shows he was expelled in September “for sexual assault and dating violence,” following a campus investigation into a woman’s report that he raped her in an off-campus apartment in November 2017.
The university’s investigation found that Conaway “more likely than not” assaulted the woman, based on information from her and several witnesses. The investigation also revealed that it was “more likely than not” that he choked the victim and “may have” mentioned “driving her dead body into the Delaware River.”
The woman reported the alleged attack to police, who have not criminally charged Conaway in that case.
This story was written in collaboration with The News Journal.
If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.