Report: Fine faces third sex-abuse claim

The police search of Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine’s house Friday was prompted by a third claim of child sexual abuse against him, The Syracuse Post-Standard reported Sunday.

Zach Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine, told police that he was molested at the age of 13 by Fine in a Pittsburgh hotel room in 2002, the night before an SU game against Pitt.

Tomaselli, who the newspaper reported is facing sexual assault charges in Maine involving a 14-year-old boy, said he signed a police affidavit Wednesday.

Tomaselli said no one witnessed the alleged abuse and that he has no physical evidence to support his claim. His estranged father, Fred Tomaselli, claims his son is lying.

But the allegations were enough to see police search Fine’s home for more than seven hours Friday, The Post-Standard reported, with the US Secret Service, Syracuse Police and New York State Police involved.

They took photographs, looked through trash cans and removed three filing cabinets from the 65 year old’s home.

State troopers reportedly could be seen at the foot of Fine’s driveway, and several police vehicles were parked in the area.

Authorities remained at the house until about 9:00pm local time. Fine was seen talking to police around 3:00pm, and his wife of 26 years, Laurie, also was seen by onlookers.

Fine was placed on administrative leave by the university in light of the first two allegations being investigated by Syracuse Police.

A former Syracuse ball boy, 39-year-old Bobby Davis, claims to have been abused by Fine for several years in the early 1980s.

His stepbrother, Mike Lang, 45, also said that he was abused by Fine, who has served as an assistant coach at his alma mater for 35 years.

Fine has denied the accusations.

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