DA: We Can't Prosecute Syracuse Sex Abuse Claims

Claims against Bernie Fine credible, but statute of limitations has passed
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2011 11:05 AM CST
Assistant coach Bernie Fine of the Syracuse Orange looks on during the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2009.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Bernie Fine will not face state charges related to the sexual abuse allegations against him because the statute of limitations has expired, says the county prosecutor in the case. William Fitzpatrick says that while he can't prosecute the case against the former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach on behalf of two former ballboys, he finds their claims credible, reports the AP.

A federal investigation into claims made by a third man, Zach Tomaselli, remains pending, but Fitzpatrick today indicated that Tomaselli's claims are not credible. The 23-year-old says he was molested by Fine in 2002 in a Pittsburgh motel—within the statute of limitations. But the Post-Standard reports Fitzpatrick this morning says he is handing "exculpatory evidence," which he defined as school travel and hotel records, to Fine's lawyers. The paper says Fitzpatrick suggested that the evidence undermined Tomaselli's claims.

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