Blog Entry

Bernie Fine to avoid state prosecution, charges

Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:11 am
Edited on: December 7, 2011 11:18 am
 
By Matt Norlander

The investigation involving former Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine has become as much about timing as anything else.

And because the sexual-molestation allegations against Fine came years -- decades, even -- after they allegedly occurred, the former Syracuse assistant coach will not face legal action in the state of New York.

Because Bobby Davis and Mike Lang waited so long to come forward to tell their stories, the statute of limitations on these crimes has been passed, and so Fine will not be charged or prosecuted by state authorities.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick held a press conference Wednesday morning, essentially stating he believes what Davis and Lang are claiming, that Fine did molest the boys on multiple occasions throughout the 1980s and '90s. He applauded Davis for coming forward and told Lang -- neither of whom were in the room; Fitzpatrick was speaking to them generally -- he too did the right thing by speaking up.  He apologized to them as well.

"Bobby, I'm sorry it took so long," Fitzpatrick said. The presser was as much about updating the public on the state of the case as it was Fitzpatrick's personal grief session to the alleged victims involved and potential victims everywhere.

The big part of this case remains to be the audio tape of the phone call between Davis and Laurie Fine, Bernie's wife. It is the evidence out there that all but clarifies any doubt people might've had in regard to Fine's inappropriate actions. Here's what Fitzpatrick said about that recording.

"The significance of this tape cannot be overstated. Anyone listening to that tape cannot fail to understand that Bobby Davis is not being truthful, which makes it all the more confusing as to why the very people whose job it is to determine credibility, sufficiency of corroboration, what investigative leads to follow, namely Onondaga County prosecutors, were never informed of the existence of the tape and neither was the Syracuse police department. This was not a confidential source. Bobby Davis wanted his name to come forward."

The first part of that statement was a clear shot at Jim Boeheim, the Syracuse head coach who finally apologized last Friday after initially belittling, doubting and publicly admonishing the claims made by Davis and Lang.

Fitzpatrick and the State of Syracuse are powerless to do anything now, though.

Fine's not in the clear, though, not by a long shot. Federal authorities continue to investigate this, and the key now becomes the story and claims of Zach Tomaselli, who is the third accuser in the case. Tomaselli claims he was molested by Fine in 2002 while the Orange were in Pittsburgh for a game against the Panthers. If that story rings true and can be corroborated, authorities can charge Fine with severe penalties thanks to broader, un-cuffed laws.

The feds recently raided Fine's home and on-campus office, confiscating dozens of items in the process.

Fitzpatrick also went back on some words on his own, saying Syracuse University and the city police department did do their diligence in looking into the case. He was initially very public and very critical toward the university and the PD. His insistence on making news by way of press releases and press conferences doesn't sit well with some, still.

Fine was fired by the university Nov. 27.

Photo: AP
Comments

Since: Sep 14, 2008
Posted on: December 12, 2011 1:49 am
 

Bernie Fine to avoid state prosecution, charges

you must be a very lonely and unwanted man Carla.



Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 3:21 pm
 

Wow, Matt Norlander could be sued for Libel

This is such terrible reporting.  If this writers has a manager that looks at this work, they should quickly add a disclaimer that it was not accurate, in the least.

I watched the DA's press conference and absolutely at no time did state your below statement.  Completely inaccurate.


"Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick held a press conference Wednesday morning, essentially stating he believes what Davis and Lang are claiming, that Fine did molest the boys on multiple occasions throughout the 1980s and '90s"

However, the worst part of this article is this:

"The first part of that statement was a clear shot at Jim Boeheim, the Syracuse head coach after initially belittling, doubting and publicly admonishing the claims made by Davis and Lang."

If you watched the entire PC, which you clearly did not, you would not the only shots taken were at the Post Standard and Espn, the legal team of Bond Schoeneck and King for not preparing a solid report for Syracuse Univ after four months and  Bernie Fine.

If you would have watched, you would have heard him say "Jim Boeheim has done 10x more work for kids than anyhone in this community" and that he could not have done anything differently knowing what he knew.  The DA said his only mistake was believing his friend that lied to him when he called them liars.

Last, to confirm this was such a terribly bias story, you failed to note that Tomaselli has essentially been confirmed as lying and fabricated the entire story.  Below is the Post Standard's story on that...

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.

ssf/2011/12/district_attorney_willi

am_fitz_1.html

Syracuse, NY - School records from the Copenhagen School District undermine Zach Tomaselli's allegation he was molested in 2002 in Pittsburgh by Syracuse University associate basketball coach Bernie Fine, District Attorney William Fitzpatrick just revealed.



Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 2:50 pm
 

Bernie Fine to avoid state prosecution, charges

Matt,  That was not a shot at Jim Boeheim.  Jim Boeheim did not hear about the tape recording until after he made the comments about the accusers.  Boeheim only had the fact that there was an investigation done in 2003 by ESPN and the post standard that came up with no evidence besides and accusation and the investigation of an outside law firm stating that the people given to them by Davis denied anything happened.  This included Lang who later changed his story.  The outside law firm and University never had the audio tape and first heard about it when it was played on ESPN.  This was confirmed by everyone!




Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 2:46 pm
 

Bernie Fine to avoid state prosecution, charges

Carla, there is a problem with your theory:
- in every case that becomes public, viciously denigrate the children, like Boeheim did when he said the accusation was “a bunch of a thousand lies”
- other children will be afraid to come forward

because AFTER Boeheim's statement, other accusers DID come forward

Logic FAIL





Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Bernie Fine to avoid state prosecution, charges

Sure your right!  Everyone affiliated with Syracuse University is a child molester.  They teach a course in how to get away with it.  Are you insane?
 



Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 2:42 pm
 

Bernie Fine to avoid state prosecution, charges

Are facts important?  Let's see.... The existence of the tapes were made public last week.  Neither Boeheim or the university were made aware of the tapes until they were made pulbic.  ESPN and the Post Standard had the tapes for about 8 years and never brought them to the police or the university.  The DA discredited Tomaselli with the fact that his high school had record of him being in school showing he could not have been in Pittsburgh when he claimed he was being abused there.  The DA has classifed this evidence as exculpatory and provided it to Fine's lawyers. 




Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 2:41 pm
 

Bernie Fine to avoid state prosecution, charges

PLEASE REREAD THE TRANSCRIPT... Where did you go to school?   The DA stated just the opposite.  Jim Boeheim or anyone from the school did NOT have the tape.  ESPN and Post Standard are the only one that had the tape.   You should be blasting ESPN.



Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 2:28 pm
 

Bernie Fine to avoid state prosecution, charges

Matt, your claim that Fitz made "a clear shot" at Boeheim is incorrect.  A key factor in this case is that the tape was never made available to Syracuse University, Jim Boeheim, the Syracuse PD, nor the DA until last week.  Fitzy's shot was at your media compatriots at ESPN and the Syracuse Post Standard who sat on the tape in order to protect their potential scoop rather than acting to protect potential further victims.  There is no fair reading of that as a shot at Boeheim.

You also make several other key errors.  You point to Zach Tomaselli as being the key to future investigations, but if you had listened to Fitz' full statement, or even read the press reports, you would know that Zach's story has been undermined.  Records indicate that he was marked present in school the day of the Pittsburgh game, and other travel records do not support his account.  Tomaselli is no longer a player in this case.  What Fitzy did say was that Davis and Lang were found to be credible, but that he cannot prosecute due to SOL.  However, if Davis' story of being molested in New Orleans in 1987 can be supported, there is still an option there for both federal and state of Louisiana prosecution.

You really need to clean this post up; the errors in basic fact are glaring.



Since: Nov 12, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 2:17 pm
 

CBS, Norlander need to stick to FACTS

Norlander makes a fool of himself and CBS.   Lets start with the tape.

DAVIS ADMITS that he NEVER gave the tape to SU or to the police.   He only gave it to ESPN and the Syracuse paper.    That is pretty dumb.   But it is not SU's fault or the SPD's fault the kid was dumb.    If he has turned the tape over he could have blown this story up years and years ago. .... But he didn't.



Since: Sep 3, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 2:01 pm
 

Bernie Fine to avoid state prosecution, charges

Get your facts straight, Norlander. Several of your statements should be retracted.


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