No charges against ex-Syracuse coach

Dec. 7, 2011 at 7:55 PM
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SYRACUSE, N.Y., Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Authorities said Wednesday they can't prosecute a former Syracuse assistant basketball coach on sex abuse charges due to the statute of limitations.

William Fitzpatrick, the district attorney for Onondaga County, N.Y., told reporters that while allegations of child sex abuse made by several accusers against Bernie Fine are credible, his office can't file charges because the alleged assaults happened too long ago.

The prosecutor said he found former Syracuse ball boys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang believable in their charges that Fine molested them when they were children, starting in the 1980s.

"It is not my place to pronounce Bernie Fine guilty of anything," he said. "It is my place to confirm that these two victims are credible."

Fine, 65, was fired last month after serving as head Coach Jim Boeheim's top assistant since 1976. Boeheim at first blasted the motives of Davis and Lang in making the accusations, but later apologized.

Fitzpatrick said the case of a third accuser, Zach Tomaselli, is in the hands of federal authorities because the alleged abuse occurred outside his jurisdiction.

He added a fourth accuser did not have sufficient credibility to warrant prosecution.

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