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Feds drop sex abuse case vs. Syracuse’s Bernie Fine

BERNIE FINE

BERNIE FINE

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Federal authorities have dropped their investigation into one of the sexual abuse claims that cost a Syracuse assistant basketball coach his job and threw a top-ranked team into turmoil.

After a probe spanning nearly a year, US Attorney Richard Hartunian said Friday there was not enough evidence to support claims that Bernie Fine had molested a boy in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room.

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‘‘The nature and seriousness of these allegations, which involved conduct typically committed in private with individuals who are reluctant to come forward, warranted a thorough federal investigation,’’ Hartunian said.

It wasn’t clear yet whether Fine, 66, could get his job back.

Two former ball boys, Bobby Davis and Michael Lang, came forward Nov. 17 and accused Fine of fondling them when they were teens.

Ten days later, a third man, 23-year-old Zachary Tomaselli, of Lewiston, Maine, went public with an accusation that Fine had molested him in 2002 in a hotel room when the team played in Pittsburgh.

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