How statute of limitations affects Bernie Fine investigation

U nless a more recent alleged victim comes forward, most likely authorities would not be able to prosecute Bernie Fine, even if they find evidence of sexual abuse did.

B obby Davis went to police in 2003 with his allegations going back to the mid '80's when he was a ball boy for the Orange. By then he says police told him the Statute of Limitationshad expired. Local defense attorney Emil Rossi says police could not make a case back in '03. "They were right on. that's exactly right...there was nothing to do."

Rossi says under the law as it existed in 2003, a victim of felony child sex abuse had until the age of 23 to report the crime to police and expect prosecution. Bobby Davis went to police when he was 31 years old which is another reason why investigators could not bring a charge even if there was evidence to back it up.

Under current law, the statute of limitations does not apply to certain sex crimes against children. In 2006, the state legislature added an exception to the statute of limitations to include felony sex crimes against minors. It appears under Penal Law: Section 130.75. It states: "He or she being 18 years old or more engages in two or more acts of sexual conduct with a child less than 13 years old." Bobby Davis claimed he was just 12 years old when he was repeatedly abused by Bernie Fine.

B ut Rossi disagrees with adding sex crimes against children to the statute of limitations, which used to apply only to the crime of murder. "I think making it unlimited in other areas may be a bad reaction to a bad situation. We're all concerned about the fact that we may not have been vigilant enough over the years about sex abuse, but I don't think the answer to that is to extend the statute of limitations forever."