Friday, July 20, 2012
Lawyer calls for AG investigation
NEW YORK -- The state attorney general should investigate Syracuse University's handling of sex abuse allegations against a former assistant basketball coach, high-profile attorney Gloria Allred said Friday.
Allred called on Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to investigate whether Syracuse was in compliance with a federal law that requires colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to disclose information about crime on campus.
Allred is representing Bobby Davis and Michael Lang, two men who say they were abused by former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine. Fine, who was fired last year, has denied the allegations.
Davis, a former Syracuse ball boy, said that if Syracuse officials violated the federal law, called the Clery Act, they should be held accountable.
"A college should never care more about protecting its reputation than it does about protecting children from child sexual abuse," he said at a Manhattan news conference with Allred.
The university points to a statement a special trustees committee made indicating the allegations don't fall within the reporting requirements of the Clery Act.
A spokesman for Schneiderman declined to comment.
Davis, now 41, claims Fine molested him for years beginning when he was around 12. He took the claims to university officials in September 2005.
The claims by Davis and Lang, his stepbrother, happened too long ago to be prosecuted, but the U.S. attorney's office is investigating the claims of a third man who said Fine abused him. That third accuser, 23-year-old Zach Tomaselli, of Lewiston, Maine, has since said he lied.
Allred's Los Angeles-based firm is representing Davis and Lang along with a New York firm.
Allred has represented clients including Nicole Brown Simpson's family during the O.J. Simpson murder trial.