Entries in Bernie Fine (8)


Bernie Fine Accuser Admits to Lying About Sex Abuse Allegations

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Zachary Tomaselli’s allegations of sex abuse turned the world of college basketball upside down.

Now, the 23-year-old says he made the whole story up.

“It was just a game that I decided to see how far I could push it and I was able to push it a lot further than I could ever have imagined.” Tomaselli told ABC affiliate WMTW.

Tomaselli accused Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of sexually abusing him when he was 13 at a hotel in Pittsburgh.

Fine, who has since been fired, was accused of molesting four boys, but because of the statute of limitations, Tomaselli was the only one who could pursue charges.

Tomaselli, who now admits never even meeting Fine,  says his lies snowballed, “One lie lead to another…I just didn’t have a lot of care that I should have had as a human being.”

He also compares himself to a serial killer.

“Serial killers they all want to basically show everybody, hey-look what I’ve done. They want to be caught.”

Although the US Attorney’s Office in Syracuse is still investigating, legal analyst Sunny Hostin believes this could spell the end of the legal case against Fine.

“When you’re prosecuting a case, it’s not about what happened, it’s about what can you prove, and now when you have the alleged victim recanting the story, now you don’t know what happened, and you certainly can’t prove it,” she said.

Tomaselli’s legal troubles however are growing.

This week he was sentenced to 3 years and 3 months in prison for sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy in 2009.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Laurie Fine Accused of Sexual Relationships with Syracuse Players

Jim McIsaac/Ge​tty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- The wife of former Syracuse University assistant men's basketball coach Bernie Fine has been accused of having sexual relationships with basketball team players by two of the men that accused Fine of sexually molesting them when they were ball boys.

The affidavit was filed on Monday in New York State Supreme Court by attorney Gloria Allred, on behalf of her clients Robert Davis and his stepbrother Michael Lang.

"For years, Bernie Fine's wife, Laurie Fine, had sexual relationships with basketball team players," Davis said in the affidavit. "Laurie Fine and another coach's wife used to also speak openly about their sexual relationship with two of the players and what each of them liked to do in bed."

The affidavit is part of a slander lawsuit against head coach Jim Boeheim. Davis and Lang allege that Boeheim knew about the improper behavior and did not take action to stop it.

In the days following the allegations against Fine, Boeheim defended his assistant coach and said the accusers were lying, implying that they were trying to cash in following the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. Eventually, Boeheim apologized for the comments and supported Fine's dismissal.

Davis alleges that Boeheim "had countless occasions to observe that Fine's behavior and unusual closeness and relationship with me and other ball-boys was problematic."

In addition to observing Fine's unusually close relationship with the boys, Davis said that the behavior of Bernie Fine's wife, Laurie Fine, would also have tipped Boeheim off as to what was going on with the young ball boys. He alleges that Laurie Fine's sexual relationships with players were "common knowledge" and a "routine source of jokes and conversation."  

Edward Z. Menkin, an attorney for the Fines, did not reply to a request from ABC News for comment.

Allred said that the university must be held accountable for the inappropriate relationships Laurie Fine was allegedly having.

"If Laurie Fine was having multiple sexual relationships with basketball players, then the university must explain how this could have been taking place for years right under Coach Boeheim's nose without his being aware of it and without the university's doing anything about it," Allred wrote in an email to the Post-Standard Tuesday.

The lawsuit alleges that Laurie Fine had sexual relationships with at least two players and possibly more. It also accuses another unnamed coach's wife of doing the same.

"Mrs. Fine's approach to the different players was always the same -- she would focus on a particular player and start paying enormous attention to that one player, by doing the player's laundry, lending him her car, giving the player money and gifts, including jewelry, and generally ingratiating herself into the player's life until it became clear that they were in an intimate relationship," Davis alleged.

Fine, 65, had been an assistant coach at Syracuse for 36 years, the longest active streak at one school among Division I assistant coaches. He was fired at the end of November 2011.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bernie Fine's Accusers Sue Syracuse University, Head Basketball Coach

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- Unable to file criminal charges because the statute of limitations had run out, two men who claimed they were molested as children by former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine announced Tuesday they were suing the college and head coach Jim Boeheim.

Mike Lang and Bobby Davis alleged that Fine sexually abused them years ago when they were ball boys for the Syracuse team.  They said they had not planned to seek money damages until Boeheim initially questioned their motives and suggested they were looking to make a quick buck.

Although Boeheim has since apologized and Fine was fired by Syracuse University, the two alleged victims hired attorney Gloria Allred, who said the men were seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Allred added, "It’s time now to make both Syracuse University and coach Boeheim accountable."

Both men also made statements.  Davis said it hurt him when Boeheim accused him of lying, while Lang expressed hope that other child abuse victims would find the courage to step forward.

Fine has denied all the allegations made against him.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


New York DA: Former Syracuse Coach Bernie Fine Can't Be Prosecuted

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- Longtime Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has been fired but he may not be prosecuted for alleged sexual abuse.

The allegations against Fine are too old for him to stand trial in New York. But Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick says the former ball boy and his stepbrother who have said Fine molested them are credible, and Syracuse police should have done more to encourage them to come forward.

Fine is still under investigation by federal authorities who have searched his home, office and locker for any records that detail his contact with alleged victims.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Boeheim's Job Safe for Now as Syracuse Basketball Team Wins Big

Nate Shron/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- The third-ranked Syracuse University men's basketball team took care of business Tuesday, easily defeating Eastern Michigan, 84-48, amid rumors that head coach Jim Boeheim's job might be on the line because of the sex abuse scandal that spurred the firing of longtime assistant coach Bernie Fine last Sunday.

The school has come under heavy pressure from victims' groups to oust Boeheim for his seemingly lack of sensitivity to Fine's alleged victims when news first broke earlier in the month about two former ball boys who accused Fine of molesting them over a long period of time.

Boeheim withdrew his support for Fine and supported the firing when "more facts came out" that included a third alleged victim and a tape recording of a 2002 phone call made to Fine's wife, Laurie, in which she suggested that he may be guilty of the charges made against him.

Asked about Boeheim's future, Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor said Tuesday that he "is our coach" -- an apparent vote of confidence.

Receiving two standing ovations at Tuesday's night game in Syracuse, Boeheim said, "I'm saddened in many ways by what has unfolded.  I'm looking forward to a time when we can talk and learn from what has happened."

Unlike the previous home game, there was no open seat on the bench to mark Fine's absence.  No criminal charges have been leveled at the former coach who has called the accusations "patently false."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Victims Group Demands Ouster of Syracuse Head Basketball Coach

Nate Shron/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- With his longtime assistant gone, is Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim's job safe?

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests says it's time Syracuse University also cut ties with Boeheim for first denigrating two men who charged Bernie Fine with sexually abusing them as youngsters.

Fine was fired Sunday after a third man came forward to allege that he too was molested by the 65-year-old coach.  The firing also followed a broadcast on ESPN of a taped phone conversation between Fine's wife, Laurie, and accuser Bobby Davis in 2002 in which she acknowledged her husband had likely molested Davis when he served as the team's ball boy.

When the story about Fine broke two weeks ago, Boeheim defended Fine and accused Davis and his relative, Mike Lang, of trying to cash in on the scandal that he said was perpetuated by sex abuse charges filed against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.

On Sunday, Boeheim changed his tune, saying, "I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse."

However, David Clohessy, the director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Boeheim's apology won't undo the harm he's caused and demanded that Syracuse fire the coach.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Syracuse Fires Assistant Coach Bernie Fine Amid Abuse Allegations

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- Syracuse University announced Sunday evening it has fired assistant men's basketball coach Bernie Fine, who has been accused by three men of sexually molesting them when they were boys.

"At the direction of Chancellor [Nancy] Cantor, Bernie Fine's employment with Syracuse University has been terminated, effective immediately," university spokesman Kevin Quinn announced.

Fine, 65, had been an assistant coach at Syracuse for 36 years, the longest active streak at one school among Division I assistant coaches.  He has called the allegations "patently false."

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said Sunday night he supported the university's decision to fire the man who has been his assistant for 35 years.

"The allegations that have come forth today are disturbing and deeply troubling," the Hall of Fame coach said in a statement released Sunday evening.  "I am personally very shocked because I have never witnessed any of the activities that have been alleged.  I believe the university took the appropriate step tonight."

He said the allegations should "be fully investigated."

Boeheim, who had called one of the accusers "a liar" for suggesting he knew that his long-time assistant was allegedly abusing young boys, apologized for that "insensitive" remark and said that anyone with information should "be supported to come forward so that the truth can be found."

"I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse," he said.

The firing comes the same day that ESPN released tapes of one of Fine's accusers discussing what happened with the assistant coach's wife.

Bobby Davis was a seventh grader helping out around the Syracuse basketball court when he claims the abuse began.  Now 39, he says he made a recording in October 2002 of a phone call with Fine's wife, Laurie.  He says he did so so his allegations of molestation against Bernie Fine would be taken seriously.

"I know everything that went on, you know.  I know everything that went on with him," the woman identified as Laurie Fine tells Davis.  "Bernie has issues, maybe that he's not aware of, but he has issues...And you trusted somebody you shouldn't have trusted."

Davis gave a copy of the tape to ESPN and recently to police.  ESPN says a voice expert confirms the woman's voice on the audiotape matches Laurie Fine's.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Former Ball Boy Accuses Syracuse Basketball Coach of Molesting Him

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- Syracuse University's longtime assistant men's basketball coach Bernie Fine is under investigation for allegedly molesting a ball boy for at least 12 years.

ESPN reported Thursday that 39-year-old Bobby Davis is claiming that Fine began abusing him in 1983 -- a year before he started his six-year tenure as the team's ball boy.

Davis, who alleged that the abuse continued into the 1990s, says that Fine molested him at his home, at the university's facilities and on road trips.

Fine has been put on administrative leave while Syracuse Police investigate the allegations.  He is been at Syracuse University for 35 years.

According to ESPN, Davis did not tell head basketball coach Jim Boeheim about what he alleges Fine did to him, even though he says Boeheim saw the two of them together often.

Boeheim later issued a statement that said, ‘I have known Bernie Fine for more than 40 years.  I have never seen or witnessed anything to suggest that he would have been involved in any of the activities alleged.  Had I seen or suspected anything, I would have taken action.  Bernie has my full support.”

Meanwhile, Syracuse University issued a statement that it conducted an investigation of Davis' claims in 2005 and found no one who could corroborate his allegations.  ESPN said it also investigated Davis' allegations in 2003 but decided against airing the story, also citing no independent corroboration of his story.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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