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The Federal Child Abuse Investigation Against Syracuse Assistant Coach Bernie Fine Has Been Dropped

  • Dylan Murphy

Shortly after news broke that Jerry Sandusky had been sexually abusing boys for years, an ESPN investigation fueled accusations that Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine had committed similar crimes.

Last December, Syracuse District Attorney William Fitzpatrick concluded that there was not enough evidence to prosecute, so the matter went federal. The charges stirred up some controversy, as Jim Boeheim adamantly defended his assistant coach even after he was canned.

And then there was that creepy phone call between Laurie Fine and Bobby Davis, Fine’s most public accuser, which propelled the entire investigation and swayed public opinion.

But after all of this, the twists and turns and suits and countersuits and investigation and closing of investigations, United States District Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced that the feds’ investigation has now been closed.

Via 18 WETM:

“United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian today announced that a thorough, year-long investigation arising from allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Bernard “Bernie” Fine has revealed insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal charges. As a result, the United States Attorney’s Office is closing its investigation. Counsel for Mr. Fine has been notified that the investigation has been closed.

[...]

We have concluded that the investigation has not developed sufficient credible evidence of the commission of a prosecutable offense to merit either federal charges or a referral to a district attorney’s office for state prosecution. As a result, we are closing our investigation.”

So there you have it. “100,000 pages of documents” and 130 witness were reviewed and interviewed, yet still there was not enough evidence to move forward with prosecution. As the statement goes on to note, the closure of the investigation is not an indicator of guilt, innocence or what actually happened; it’s merely the realization that successful prosecution with the available evidence is not possible.

[18 WETM]


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