Alleged Sexual Abuse Victim Files Lawsuit Against Coach Bernie Fine
Posted on Jan 22, 2012
In yet another tragic case involving the sexual molestation of young children, three men have come forward alleging that former Syracuse University basketball coach Bernie Fine sexually abused them several years ago. Two of these alleged victims were ballboys for the Syracuse University basketball team in the 1980’s. They claim that the abuse occurred during this time. The other alleged victim, 23-year-old Zachary Tomaselli, alleges that he was molested in 2002. Mr. Fine has since been fired from his position at Syracuse.
Mr. Tomaselli asserts that he met Mr. Fine at an autograph show in 2001. Mr. Fine thereafter arranged for the boy, then aged 13, to travel to the University of Pittsburgh to watch the men’s basketball team play Syracuse University. During the trip, Mr. Tomaselli claims that Mr. Fine showed him pornography and had him stay with him overnight. The molestation allegedly occurred inside of the hotel room on January 21, 2002.
While Mr. Fine continues to deny all of the allegations of abuse, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick has stated that the allegations of the two boys claiming the molestation in the 1980’s are credible. Unfortunately, the crimes are too old to prosecute. Attorney Fitzpatrick also stated that Mr. Tomaselli’s claim is questionable due to his school records and the team’s travel records. Mr. Fine’s lawyer thereafter released statements to the effect that Tomaselli is a liar.
As a result of the accusations that he is lying about the abuse, Mr. Tomaselli’s lawyer, Jeffrey Anderson, filed a lawsuit in December in county court in Pittsburgh to rebut those statements. The lawsuit recounts the molestation of the two ballboys but provides few details. It further alleges that:
- Tomaselli was too young to give consent
- Fine’s abuse was unwanted
- Fine’s abuse caused substantial harm
- Anderson asserts that Fine met Tomaselli