Third Bernie Fine accuser steps forward
Sun, 27 Nov 2011 23:52:20 GMT —
Zach Tomaselli says he and his father met Bernie Fine at an autograph session in 2001. Tomaselli says Fine later called his parents with an invitation for Zach to travel to Pittsburgh to watch the Orange play that season. Tomaselli says he took a bus to Pittsburgh and spent the night in Fine's hotel room. Tomaselli claims that Fine had him watch pornography and then sexually abused him.
"He (Fine) sat next to me on the bed in the hotel room and as we were watching TV he fondled me. Put his hand down my shorts - and that happened four to five times over a span of four to five hours," said Tomaselli in a phone interview. Tomaselli now lives in Lewiston, Maine.
Tomaselli says he also attended a party at Bernie Fine's house a year later but nothing happened after he declined to spend the night in Fine's bedroom. He says he didn't plan on coming forward with his allegations against Bernie Fine but wanted to go public after listening to people doubt the accounts given by former SU ball boys Bobby Davis and Mike Lang.
"A lot of people were saying, it's all made up, it's nothing. Obviously I knew it wasn't made up," said Tomaselli.
In a Facebook post, Zach Tomaselli also accused both his father and Bernie Fine of abuse. Zach Tomaselli is facing sexual abuse charges in Maine stemming from allegations that he touched a 14 year old at a summer camp he worked at. He has pleaded not guilty.
"Between Bernie and my father I didn't understand what a normal relationship between adults and children are and I had a lot of boundary issues with kids," said Tomaselli in a phone interview.
Fred Tomaselli says his son is lying and that neither of them ever met Bernie Fine and is making the entire story up. Fred Tomaselli still lives in the Watertown area and says his son was abused as a child but it was by a neighbor. He also claims that the state police found nothing to back up Zach's allegations that he abused him.
"We love him, I forgive him but he's going to have to own up to things eventually," said Fred Tomaselli
Tomaselli said Zach lived with him until he was 19 and he never travelled to Pittsburgh or Bernie Fine's home.
"Bernie Fine is definitely innocent on this accusation by Zach. 1000% percent," said Fred Tomaselli.
Zach Tomaselli says his father is telling people he is lying because Tomaselli has accused him of abuse.
Zach Tomaselli says he "definitely agrees" with Syracuse University's decision to fire Bernie Fine. Tomaselli says it "could have come a little sooner" and he hopes SU "will issue an apology to the victims."