Update: Fine Fired, Third Accuser From North Country


Syracuse University fired assistant head coach Bernie Fine Sunday night.

The firing was the latest development in a tumultuous day in which a third accuser against Fine emerged, an accuser who lived in the north country.

Also Sunday, details of a 2002 phone call involving Fine's wife emerged, in which she acknowledged she had 'concerns' that Fine had sexually molested a team ball boy. (Full story here.) 

"At the direction of Chancellor (Nancy) Cantor, Bernie Fine's employment with Syracuse University has been terminated, effective immediately," said Kevin Quinn, the school's senior vice president for public affairs.

The firing of Fine capped a series of developments that began Friday when police raided Fine's home in the Syracuse suburbs.

The reason for the raid was exposed Sunday, when the Syracuse Post-Standard reported a third man came forward to accuse Fine of sexual misconduct.

In a story by reporters Mike McAndrew and John O'Brien, (read the full story here) the third accuser is identified as Zach Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine.

7 News interviewed both Zach Tomaselli and his father Sunday and confirmed much of the Post-Standard report.

Tomaselli is a 2006 graduate of Copenhagen high school, according to his Facebook page.

Fred Tomaselli, who still lives in the north country, told 7 News - as he did the Post Standard - that his son is lying. 

Zach Tomaselli said he met Fine at an S.U. team autograph session in 2001, according to the newspaper story.

He subsequently traveled with the team in 2002 to Pittsburgh and spent the night in Fine's hotel room, where Fine allegedly abused him, Tomaselli told 7 News.

"This occurred between 4, maybe even five times, by the time I looked at the clock it said three a.m. And I fell asleep while he was fondling me," Tomaselli told 7 News.

There was one more contact, in 2003, Tomaselli said, but no abuse occured because he refused to share Fine's bed.

Fred Tomaselli told 7 News his son was molested, but not by Fine.

"It was in his past in the 90s as a younger boy by a neighbor in Texas," Fred Tomaselli said. "Which we didn't know about until he became, uh, until he was 19."

The new accusations are the reason why authorities raided Fine's home Friday, according to The Post-Standard.

Fine has not been charged with any crime. Until his firing Sunday night, Fine was on leave from S.U. after two former team ballboys went public with accusations against him.

Tomaselli has legal issues of his own, according to the newspaper. He is accused of having sexual contact with a 14 year old boy in Maine in 2009 and 2010, charges to which he has pleaded not guilty.

"Right now, he's (Zach) still just extremely desperate and is trying to wreak havoc," Fred Tomaselli said. "I'm not sure of his ultimate goal."

Zach Tomaselli said he wants to keep anyone else from being victimized.

"I am telling the complete truth," he said.

Syracuse University head basketball coach Jim Boeheim, who strongly defended Fine when the allegations first surfaced, said Sunday night that he thinks "the university took the appropriate step."

(Read Boeheim's comments in the New York Times story Sunday night here.)





Friday, December 9, 2016
, Watertown, NY

On Demand

This content requires the latest Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled. Click here for a free download of the latest Adobe Flash Player.