U.S. Attorney's office closes investigation of Fine
Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) - Nearly one year ago Bernie Fine lost his job as an assistant basketball coach at Syracuse University after accusations of sexual abuse of minors.
On Friday, the U.S. Attorney's office closed its investigation because of "insufficient evidence."
Fine was fired last November amid allegations of sexual abuse by former ball boys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang. A third man, Zach Tomaselli, soon came forward with similar accusations, then later admitted to lying, as did a fourth accuser.
"We have concluded that the investigation has not developed sufficient credible evidence of the commission of a prosecutable offense to merit either federal charges or a referral to a district attorney's office for state prosecution," the U.S. Attorney's office wrote in a statement Friday.
"The closure of our investigation does not constitute a determination of what did or did not happen -- only that a thorough investigation has not revealed sufficient admissible evidence to obtain and sustain a federal conviction. Mr. Fine retains the presumption of innocence that is an integral part of our system of justice."
Fine has not been prosecuted for any of the allegations and has denied any wrongdoing.
Last December, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick called accusers Davis and Lang credible, but also said his office could not file charges at the time because the statute of limitations had passed.
Davis and Lang accused Fine of molesting them when they were boys, starting in the 1980s.
The 66-year-old Fine had been Jim Boeheim's top assistant at Syracuse since 1976. Boeheim steadfastly first defended Fine, a friend since the 1960s, but quickly backtracked and said he was wrong to question the accusers' motives.
11/09 10:36:14 ET