Syracuse Police chief tells Post-Standard three Fine accusers were 'highly credible'

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said three of the men who accused Bernie Fine of sexual abuse were "highly credible," reports The Post-Standard.

Chief Fowler reportedly believes that Bobby Davis, Mike Lang and Floyd VanHooser are credible based on the work of police detectives.

Earlier this month, the federal prosecutors announced that its investigation was over and said there was insufficient evidence to press federal criminal charges against Fine.

Fine was a 35-year assistant to head coach Jim Boeheim, and was fired in November 2011 after allegations surfaced that he sexually molested ball boys during his tenure at Syracuse University.

Two of those ball boys, Lang and Davis, claimed that Fine inappropriately touched them on several occasions in the 1980s.

VanHooser claimed Fine sexually abused him when he was 14-years-old, when he was living with Fine, and that the abuse continued as an adult when the contact included sex acts for money. VanHooser was a prison inmate when he made the claims and recanted the allegations shortly after. The Post-Standard reports that VanHooser then returned to his original claims against Fine.

Police told the paper that the way in which VanHooserâ??s accusations surfaced was one reason they believe heâ??s credible. VanHooser apparently made the same claim to a mental health professional a year before the Fine case was made public.

Deputy Chief Shawn Broton told The Post-Standard that if the allegations made against Fine hadnâ??t all been outside the statute of limitations, there would have been enough evidence for police to arrest Fine.

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick stated publicly at a news conference in December 2011 that he believed Davis and Lang were credible, but that the crimes were too old to be prosecuted.

In Feburary 2012, Davis and Lang appeared with their lawyer Gloria Allred at a press conference to push for a bill that would give victims more time to report sex abuse.

Fine has steadfastly denied the allegations.

(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)