No federal criminal charges against ex-coach Fine, feds say
Syracuse fired assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine in November 2011.
November 9th, 2012
10:11 AM ET

No federal criminal charges against ex-coach Fine, feds say

Federal criminal charges will not be filed against former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernard "Bernie" Fine, who was accused of sexually abusing children, U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced Friday.

A yearlong investigation of Fine "revealed insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal charges," according to the U.S. attorney's office for the Northern District of New York. As a result, the office is closing its investigation, it said.

Fine was fired from his Syracuse job in November 2011 after Syracuse ball boys Mike Lang and Bobby Davis, Lang's stepbrother, stepped forward to accuse the coach of molesting them over several years.

State prosecutors in December said that despite credible allegations from Davis and Lang, they could not bring charges against Fine because the statute of limitations had expired.

A third accuser, Zachary Tomaselli, said this year that he had fabricated allegations against the coach.

When the allegations first surfaced, Fine - married with a son and two daughters - called them "patently false."

In determining whether to file federal charges, the U.S. attorney's office said Friday that it "applied the Department of Justice's principles of federal prosecution, which provide for seeking an indictment only if 'the person’s conduct constitutes a federal offense and ... the admissible evidence will probably be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction.'"

"We have concluded that the investigation has not developed sufficient credible evidence of the commission of a prosecutable offense to merit either federal charges or a referral to a district attorney's office for state prosecution. As a result, we are closing our investigation," the office said in a news release.

"The closure of our investigation does not constitute a determination of what did or did not happen - only that a thorough investigation has not revealed sufficient admissible evidence to obtain and sustain a federal conviction. Mr. Fine retains the presumption of innocence that is an integral aspect of our system of justice," the release said.

Read this story for more details about Friday's developments.

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. J e f f F r a n k (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    The Communists have waited 10,000 years for world domination, and are real exited to see someone in the next four years help them, to attain thier ever so patient manifest destiny. Think I'm joking?

    November 9, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Don't know if you're joking, but you seem to have leapt over the old "Obama is a Socialist" directly to "Obama is a Communist"...
      Hey, just for complete giggles, start the rumor that "Obama wants to be Emperor", it's as likely as this country EVER going Communist.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cuervo Jones

      no,not joking, i believe you really believe that. Communism is 10,000 years old. you're not joking you're stooopid

      November 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      In your little world communism couldn't have been waiting 10,000 years, since god created man and the dinosaurs 6,000 years ago. Besides, Karl Marx wasn't even born then.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      @ Jeff- Who do you think has been running Washington- the people? really? Then why is it that the 1% can get a tax cut and SS and all the programs we put into have been stolen? Sounds like the few are dictating to the many.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • DDW 1946

      Don't know if you are kidding but I'm sure you are certifiably crazy

      November 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Representative T. Bagger (R-TX)

      Communism wasn't even invented until the 19th century you dope.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ronald

    Alot of these stories are coming out lately.

    November 9, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
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