Justice Department ends investigation into Bernie Fine
The U.S. Attorney's Office has dropped its year-long investigation of sexual abuse of minors by former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.
The office says it reviewed over 100,000 pages of documents, including travel records and emails, while working with other federal and local law enforcement offices. Prosecutors also interviewed 130 witnesses.
The Justice Department concluded its investigation "revealed insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal charges," it said in a release this morning.
A former ball boy for the team, Zach Tomaselli, claimed Fine molested him in a Pittsburgh hotel room in 2002 during a team trip. Fine was fired in November 2011 after Tomaselli went public with the claims.
Tomaselli initially said Fine put pornography on the hotel room television, then molested him. He later said he was lying.
Two other men also claimed Fine abused them before Tomaselli, but the statute of limitations had expired on those claims.
“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,” U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian said in the release.
Fine has maintained his innocence throughout the investigation.
The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment further on the investigation.