Man recants Fine molestation charge

April 13, 2012 at 5:45 PM
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SYRACUSE, N.Y., April 13 (UPI) -- A man who accused Syracuse basketball Coach Bernie Fine of molesting him when he was a child now says he made the whole thing up.

In an interview Thursday with The (Syracuse, N.Y.) Post-Standard, Zach Tomaselli said he is ready to "admit that I fabricated the Bernie Fine story."

"It's just become an amazing burden and I just can't handle it anymore," he said.

Tomaselli, who said he had been sexually abused earlier, said he made up the story about Fine because he hates Syracuse for beating Kansas in 2003 in the NCAA tournament, The Post-Standard said.

Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine, is one of four men who alleged they were abused by Fine and the second to recant. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Duncan said the investigation is continuing and refused to speculate on the effect of Tomaselli's recantation.

Tomaselli said he was coached about what to say by ESPN reporter Bobby Davis. Davis denied he told Tomaselli what to say.

"I'm going to be the most hated figure in Syracuse once this is posted or in the paper," said Tomaselli, an admitted drug addict who alleged Fine molested him in a hotel room in Pittsburgh when he was 13. "The most hated infamous person in Syracuse for quite some time."

Fine was fired Nov. 27 after Tomaselli made his allegation.

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