The New York Criminal Law Blog

Zach Tomaselli; Bernie Fine's Third Accuser Steps Forward

Bernie Fine’s third accuser has stepped forward claiming that the Syracuse assistant basketball coach molested him as a teen in 2002. In an interesting twist, the accuser, Zach Tomaselli, is himself facing criminal sexual assault charges of a minor and those closest to him cast doubt on his story.

Bernie Fine has been accused by two step-brothers -- Bobby Davis and Mike Lang -- who say that Fine sexually abused them when they worked as ball boys in the early 1980s. The newest allegations by the now 23-year-old Tomaselli would have occurred almost 20 years later.

Tomaselli says that Fine molested him at a Pittsburgh hotel room the night before a Syracuse game against Pitt, reports ESPN. The accuser says that he had met Fine while attending an autograph session in late 2001. After the initial meeting, Tomaselli says that Fine called him to arrange for him to go to Pittsburgh with the team where the abuse occurred.

Tomaselli signed an affidavit regarding the abuse which led to a search warrant being issued for Fine's home, reports ESPN.

But in a twist, the accuser is himself accused of sexual abuse, reports ESPN. Tomaselli is facing sexual assault charges in Maine of a 14-year-old boy at a summer camp where he worked.

In addition, Tomaselli's father denies that he and his son ever met Bernie Fine and says that his son never traveled to Pittsburgh with the team. He also called his son a liar and said "I'm 100 percent sure that Bernie Fine was never in contact with Zach," reports ESPN.

Zach Tomaselli, Bernie Fine's third accuser, is himself accused of sexual assault. Even if his allegations are true, it's probably unlikely it will affect the results of his own criminal sex abuse case.

If his allegations are untrue, as his own father claims, Tomaselli could face perjury charges along with the sex abuse charges.

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