Attorney: Accuser to drop Fine lawsuit

Attorney: Accuser to drop Fine lawsuit

Published Jan. 20, 2012 12:00 a.m. ET

The attorney for a Maine man who accused fired Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of molesting him says he's dropping a civil lawsuit filed in Pittsburgh.

Jeffrey R. Anderson, attorney for Zach Tomaselli, said in a statement Friday that he ''will be dismissing his case'' against Fine and will no longer represent Tomaselli.

''We are sad and disappointed that we cannot pursue justice for Zach, but we will continue to support him in his recovery,'' Anderson said.

The 23-year-old Maine resident reportedly decided to drop the lawsuit after telling The Post-Standard of Syracuse in a text message that he had little time to live.


"I'm just guna ask the police to drop the investigation on Fine. I'm sick of this," Tomaselli reportedly wrote in the message to The Post-Standard. "I have a couple weeks left to live. I want to be left alone."

Tomaselli also told The Post-Standard that he altered emails from Syracuse police before forwarding them to the paper in an attempt to bolster his account.

In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Tomaselli insists he did not ''fabricate the story'' about Fine molesting him when he was 13. Two former ball boys also accused Fine of molesting them.

Fine has denied the men's allegations.

Only Tomaselli's case falls within the statute of limitations.

Tomaselli, who himself pleaded guilty in December to sexually abusing a teenage boy, alleged Fine abused him in a Pittsburgh hotel room while he traveled with the Syracuse basketball team in 2002 at age 13. He filed a civil lawsuit against Fine on Dec. 8.

Tomaselli could face up to three years and three months in prison for his guilty plea, according to The Post-Standard. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

NewsCore contributed to this report.