A federal investigation of Bernie Fine, former associate head SU basketball coach, and claims of sexual abuse is closed. YNN's Bill Carey tells us a federal prosecutor says there will be no criminal charges.
NEW YORK -- The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York says the Bernie Fine investigation is closed, and there will be no criminal charges. Richard Hartunian says there is no evidence to support charges against the former assistant Syracuse University basketball coach.
The case began after allegations by Bobby Davis, a former SU ball boy, that he was abused by Fine over a period of years. There were additional allegations from Davis' stepbrother. The claims of two other men against Fine have been discredited.
An attorney, who represented Fine's wife, Laurie, during questioning in the case, says there are few options for Bernie Fine now that the case is closed.
“This part of it is over, but how does any citizen recover the stability in their life after this kind of scrutiny. The federal government is knocking on your door and coming into your house and examining all of your records. They had a warrant, but that's not much consolation for Bernie Fine and his family,” said Edward Menkin, Syracuse attorney.
Fine was fired by Syracuse University after a tape recording emerged of a conversation between his accuser, Davis, and Laurie Fine. That conversation appeared to confirm Davis' claims.
Syracuse University says it stands by the firing, calling it the "appropriate step" that was made in the best interest of the University.
Bernie Fine's attorneys released a statement. It reads:
“Although we are not surprised by the decision of United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York to close the investigation against Bernie Fine without any charges, we greatly appreciate his decision to publicly announce that decision. The damage inflicted upon Bernie and his family is simply immeasurable. Bernie deeply appreciates the tremendous outpouring of support from friends, family and the community throughout this difficult time. Bernie hopes and prays that the lesson learned and remembered is that a rush to judgment has irreversible consequences.”
Initial accuser Bobby Davis' attorney, Gloria Allred, also released a statement reacting to the closure of the investigation.
It reads, in part:
"The DOJ's decision does not indicate that there is or is not merit to the allegations against Mr. Fine and it does not vindicate him. To the contrary, many individuals in both in state and federal law enforcement have stated repeatedly that they believe Bobby Davis was credible when he reported his allegations of sexual abuse by Bernie Fine."
Allred goes on to push the state legislature to pass the Markey Bill, which would change and lengthen the statute of limitations.