The investigation into allegations against Bernie Fine took another dramatic turn this week when a New York county district attorney accused police officials of leaking a document in the sexual abuse inquiry of the longtime Syracuse University assistant basketball coach. Baseball odds
At a Wednesday news conference, Onondaga County prosecutor William Fitzpatrick accused both Syracuse police Chief Frank Fowler and Deputy Chief Sean Broton of leaking a witness affidavit in an effort to humiliate the district attorney’s office. At issue is the handling of Syracuse ball boy Bobby Davis’ initial 2002 claims that Fine had molested him.
Mayor Stephanie Miner defended the police officials, saying they had conducted themselves “with complete professionalism and integrity.”
Syracuse police said earlier in the week that it will take a number of weeks to complete their investigation of allegations by two former ball boys who claim they were molested more than 25 years ago by Fine. Baseball spreads
Fine has vigorously denied the accusations. He is currently on paid administrative leave from the university while the investigation is being conducted.
District Attorney Fitzpatrick’s office is also investigating the allegations made against Fine. Responding to Fitzpatrick’s accusations of the leaked document, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner stated police would not release information on the inquiry “in piecemeal fashion.”
Bobby Davis, now 39, told news sources that Fine molested him starting in 1984 and that sexual contact continued until he was around 27. A ball boy for six years, Davis stated in a recent report that the incidents occurred at Fine’s home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips.
Davis’ stepbrother, Mike Lang, 45, who also was a ball boy, told sources that Fine molested him starting when he was in fifth or sixth grade.
Davis previously reported his allegations to Syracuse police in 2002 and again to the university in 2005. Police declined to pursue the case at that time as the statute of limitations had run out. A university inquiry could not corroborate Davis’ claims during a four-month inquiry.
After fifth-ranked Syracuse beat Colgate this past weekend, Coach Jim Boeheim, who boasts 50 years of friendship with the beleaguered assistant coach, stalwartly defended Fine.
In what he called a criminal leaking of a witness affidavit in the case, Prosecutor Fitzpatrick said police were attempting “to deflect attention from what they did or didn’t do in 2002,” when Davis says he first reported the abuse to police.
In a statement, Mayor Miner said, “We are focused on trying to find the truth in this highly charged environment.”
Syracuse campus was devoid of students on Monday due to the Thanksgiving holiday. A group of protesters assembled near the campus entrance called for an end to New York State’s statute of limitations law in child sex abuse cases.
Prosecutions in New York State for felony sex abuse of a child must begin within five years after authorities learn of it, or within five years after a child turns 18.
Any incidents during out-of-state road trips would be subject to the laws of those states, which might not have the same limits.