Breaking: Syracuse District Attorney Cannot Press Charges Despite Bernie Fine’s “Credible” Accusers

  • Dan Fogarty

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick says the state of New York can’t press charges against former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, because the statute of limitations has passed. Fine has been accused of sexual abuse by three men, who said Fine molested them when they were boys. Two of them served as ballboys for the Syracuse basketball team.

Accusations from the two men who fall within Onondaga County’s jurisdiction, former ballboys Bobby Davis and Michael Lang, happened too long ago to be prosecuted. But, as the Chicago Sun-Times points out:

The claims of the third man, 23-year-old Zach Tomaselli, of Lewiston, Maine, fall within federal statutes of limitations and are being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.

Fitzpatrick said a lot — that the accusers (Davis and Lang) were credible, that certain things in the investigation should’ve been done better, that there was no evidence of a Syracuse institutional coverup (ala Penn State)  — but the main takeaway is this: while a federal probe is ongoing, Fitzpatrick says a state case against Fine, as it pertains to Davis and Lang, can’t be pursued. Federal investigators can still look for evidence of a federal crime — if Fine transported one of his accusers across state lines, for instance — but for now, it appears that Bernie Fine won’t be prosecuted by the state.