Bernie Fine accuser files civil lawsuit

Dec 8, 2011

Zach Tomaselli, one of three men to accuse former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of sexual abuse, filed a lawsuit in a Pennsylvania court Thursday. 

Tomaselli claims he took a bus from Syracuse to Pittsburgh in 2002 to see Syracuse's game against Pittsburgh. He says he stayed in Bernie Fine's hotel room and was sexually abused multiple times. That claim is being disputed by officials in Onondaga County.  (Tomaselli's full statement and legal filing are below.)

District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick said that his office has exculpatory evidence that he will be turning over to Bernie Fine's attorneys. Exculpatory evidence is evidence that can help the defendant. 

Fitzpatrick says that evidence includes travel and hotel records from Syracuse University, as well as attendance records from the Copenhagen School District, where Thomaselli attended school, from the dates in question.

Fitzpatrick would not confirm whether those attendance records indicated that Tomaselli was in class and not with the Syracuse basketball team.

During a news conference in Pittsburgh, Tomaselli's read from a prepared statement, saying he was taking this action "to support the other men that have gone public and to do everything I can to protect other kids from harm by Bernie Fine and powerful men like him." 

Tomaselli is also facing charges that he sexually abused a 14 year old boy in Maine. In his statement, Tomaselli says he is "taking responsibility for the harm I have done and feel a responsibility to speak up and speak truthfully out so others are helped and other kids are protected better."

Federal authorities continue to investigate Tomaselli's allegations. During a news conference in Syracuse yesterday, Fitzpatrick said no charges would be filed against Fine in New York State.

Complaint Tomaselli v Bernie Finepdf

Tomaselli-statementpdf