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Feds head Syracuse coach sex abuse probe

Nov. 28, 2011 at 3:53 PM   |   Comments

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Federal authorities are heading up the inquiry into whether former Syracuse associate basketball coach Bernie Fine molested boys, a prosecutor said Monday.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick told The (Syracuse) Post-Standard the investigation into the child sex abuse allegations against Fine is being led by the U.S. Secret Service under the direction of the U.S. attorney's office.

"I've been in close contact with the U.S. attorney," Fitzpatrick said. "All of last week, we discussed the case. The lead agency in investigating is the Secret Service under the direction of the U.S. attorney's office, assisted by the Syracuse Police Department."

He said his office was also still looking into the case.

"We're acting in conjunction with the U.S. attorney's office," Fitzpatrick said. "I'm not doing anything without checking with them."

Fine, 65, was fired by the university Sunday night. Among the allegations leveled against him by three alleged victims are that he molested former Syracuse University ball boy Bobby Davis, but the newspaper said the statute of limitations has expired under state law.

"The U.S. attorney is, as I am, interested in finding out if there are any prosecutable victims," Fitzpatrick said.

The county prosecutor's office also has come into question about whether it knew of allegations against Fine in 2002.

"Nobody ever informed this office that there were sexual abuse allegations against Bernie Fine in 2002," Fitzpatrick said.

Davis' former girlfriend, Danielle Roach, has said in a sworn statement that she had called Fitzpatrick's office multiple times and left messages that an SU basketball coach had sexually abused a friend of hers but her calls never were returned. However, Roach said she wasn't sure whether she provided Fine's name or not, the newspaper said.

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