The New York Criminal Law Blog

Bernie Fine Sex Abuse; Another Sandusky?

What is going on in this world? Another major university and sports program is now being investigated in connection with a child abuse sex scandal that could involve multiple victims.

Bernie Fine, the long-time Syracuse University assistant basketball coach under Jim Boeheim, is being investigated by Syracuse police for sexual molestation. The Bernie Fine sex abuse scandal could involve several victims.

One alleged victim, 39-year-old Bobby Davis, says that he met Fine in the early 1980s when he was selling candy door-to-door, reports ESPN. The seventh grader was taken under Fine's wing and made a ball boy for the basketball team.

During this time, Davis says that he was sexually molested by Fine and that the abuse continued for more than a dozen years, reports ESPN. Davis says that the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at the Syracuse basketball facilities, and on road trips.

In addition to Davis, two other men (one a relation of Bobby Davis) have also stepped forward and said that they were molested by Fine. Police are still in the early stages of its investigation and plan to interview the men who made the allegations, reports ESPN.

When police complete their investigation, it will be interesting to see what criminal charges they bring, if any.

According to ESPN, Davis says that he originally complained to Syracuse police in 2003, but was told that the statute of limitations had run out. The statute of limitations is the time limit that someone can be charged for a crime.

Generally, the statute of limitations for a sex act against a child expires five years after the child's 18th birthday. Given Davis' age, this would have been sometime in the 1990s.

However, if the sexual abuse was severe enough to constitute sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, there is no statute of limitations. This means that prosecutors could pursue Fine at any point -- even now.

The Bernie Fine sex abuse investigation is still in the early stages. But like with Jerry Sandusky, this case has the potential to have many victims, and many criminal charges.

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