ELMIRA, NY (WETM)- In a sit-down interview with 18 News, the owner of the Elmira Mammoth, Steve Donner, is discussing the timeline of events leading up to Nikita Andrusenko’s arrest.

18 News is continuing to investigate the arrest at First Arena in Elmira of a former hockey player, Andrusenko, wanted on a felony rape warrant. Last week, Donner told 18 News that he was trying to do the right thing for a player who needed help.

In the 15-minute interview, Donner begins with a statement. “Never in 40 years have I ever had a single allegation even closely resembling this,” says Donner, “So, I come to Elmira, reopened a building that’s closed, put hundreds of thousands of dollars of my own money into it, to try to revive the arena, bring hockey back and sports back. What incentive do I have to waste my whole entire career on a person and a player I don’t know that I didn’t recruit?”

Donner adds that he doesn’t have much to do with the recruitment process, but he believes that in this situation, Andrusenko reached out to the Mammoth. Andrusenko was in Elmira as early as summertime and skated with the Mammoth for rookie camp and some of training camp.

It was early into training camp when Donner says he first learned of Andrusenko’s situation in Utah. Andrusenko, the head coach at the time, and Donner all had a meeting to discuss how they would move forward. “I asked him if he had an attorney and he [Andrusenko] said yes,” says Donner, “when I found out the charges involved any sexual conduct whatsoever, I politely told the attorney and I told Nikita that unfortunately, we couldn’t sign him.”

Andrusenko never officially played with the Mammoth and according to Donner, never stayed in the official Mammoth housing. Andrusenko never left the Elmira area though, he stayed with a local family and skated with the Junior Enforcers and an amateur men’s league. Donner says this was just people trying to do the right thing and help a young man out while Andrusenko figured out his way in pro hockey.

When we asked Donner why people went through the trouble of helping Andrusenko out he said, “he went and sought help himself.” He also added that Andrusenko never received a penny, either cash or check, from the Mammoth Organization. The only thing Andrusenko ever received, according to Donner, was the 3 meals a day during camp that each team is required to provide since players do not make any money in camp.

You can see the full interview with Donner posted above. We are continuing to follow this story and will bring more updates as they are made available.