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Office searched in Syracuse case

Warrant, results placed under seal

BERNIE FINE Fired on Sunday BERNIE FINE Fired on Sunday
By John Kekis
Associated Press / December 1, 2011
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Federal agents searched the campus office of former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine as part of the investigation of child molestation allegations against him, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the inquiry.

Fine’s office at the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center was searched early Tuesday morning, according to the person who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because it’s an ongoing investigation.

The US Secret Service searched Fine’s house last Friday. Federal prosecutors with the US Attorney’s office in northern New York, which is leading the investigation, would not say what they sought or found there, saying it was under seal. The warrant approving the search of his office also was sealed.

Three men, including two former Syracuse ballboys, have accused Fine of molesting them as children. He has denied the allegations. Fine was fired Sunday after a third accuser went public and ESPN broadcast a 2002 audiotape, obtained and recorded by accuser Bobby Davis, of a conversation between Davis and a woman ESPN identified as Fine’s wife, Laurie, in which she says she knew “everything that went on.’’

As the investigation continues, advocates for sex abuse victims have said Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim should resign or be fired for adamantly defending Fine and verbally disparaging the accusers.

Contacted by the Associated Press by phone Wednesday, Boeheim repeated several times, “I can’t talk about anything.’’

Fine’s third accuser, 23-year-old Zach Tomaselli of Lewiston, Maine, appeared on Anderson Cooper’s afternoon talk show on CBS yesterday.

In that interview, Tomaselli said he has offered to take a lie detector test, has cooperated with investigators, and that there was evidence to support his account that he traveled on a bus to Pittsburgh for a January 2002 away game and stayed with Fine in a hotel room, where Tomaselli accused Fine of putting porn on the TV and fondling him.

Tomaselli, who faces sexual assault charges in Maine involving a 14-year-old boy, declined to say what the evidence was, saying it would hinder the investigation.

Pittsburgh police said they will let federal prosecutors in New York handle that alleged local incident. Pittsburgh police Commander Thomas Stangrecki said Tomaselli called city police, but that Pittsburgh investigators never formally interviewed him after learning the US Attorney’s Office in Syracuse is investigating.

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