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Bernie Fine Can Not Be Charged With Child Sex Abuse, DA Says

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By Allison Summers, Christian Post Reporter
December 7, 2011|2:41 pm

The district attorney looking into taking legal action against former Syracuse University basketball coach Bernie Fine for child sex abuse said charges can not be filed because the statute of limitations has run out.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said on Wednesday that he can not prosecute Fine for the allegations brought forth by Bobby Davis and Mike Lang because they occurred nearly 20 years ago, though he believes both are telling the truth.

"On almost every single criteria, Bobby Davis came out as a credible person," he said in a news conference. "Mike Lang also comes across as a credible person."

Lang and Davis came forth not long after the Penn State scandal broke last month, in which former football coach Jerry Sandusky was accused of child sex abuse. The two contended that Fine molested them multiple times throughout the 1980s and 90s.

Fitzpatrick applauded the two for coming forward, and said he wished that more could have been done.

Davis initially came forward in 2002, telling a detective that Fine had molested him several times while he served as a ball boy, but because the abuse took place in the late 1980s, police said they couldn't press charges unless he or another victim came forward with more recent allegations.

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However, neither Davis nor anyone else ever came forward.

Last month, Davis released an audio tape to the media of a telephone conversation between he and Fine's wife, in which she admitted that she knew everything that went on between Davis and her husband.

Syracuse University fired Fine after the abuse allegations came to light. A third alleged victim, Zach Tomaselli, came forward not long after Davis and Long saying the coach abused him in a hotel room while he was in Pittsburgh attending a 2002 Syracuse basketball game.

Those allegations are still being investigated.

Tomaselli is facing child sex abuse charges himself, and has admitted that he is guilty of molesting a 13-year-old boy. The 23-year-old plans on pleading guilty to charges that include gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact when he appears in Superior Court.

 

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