Feds searched Bernie Fine's NY home
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Court records unsealed Monday show federal investigators were looking for pornography that could be used "to sexually arouse or groom young males" for sex when they searched the home, office and locker of former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.
Fine was fired Nov. 27 after three men accused him of molesting them when they were boys.
Search warrants show investigators also were looking for documents, pictures, computer records and travel records that would detail Fine's contact with boys. The investigators took computers, cameras, compact discs, film and phones, among other things.
The 65-year-old Fine has denied wrongdoing, calling the allegations "patently false." He has declined further comment.
Authorities are investigating whether Fine took minors across state lines for sex, which is a felony. He could be charged should investigators find child pornography in his possession.
Federal prosecutors and investigators have declined to comment publicly in the ongoing investigation. Fine's attorneys were not immediately available Monday.
Two former ball boys told ESPN last month that Fine molested them decades ago. Bobby Davis, now 39, said that Fine molested him beginning in 1984 and that the sexual contact continued until he was around 27.
Davis, a ball boy for six years, said the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four.
Davis' 45-year-old stepbrother, Mike Lang, who also was a ball boy, told ESPN that Fine began molesting him while he was in the fifth or sixth grade.
The university fired Fine after a third accuser stepped forward and ESPN played an audiotape, recorded by Davis, of an October 2002 telephone conversation between him and a woman ESPN identified as Fine's wife, Laurie Fine, in which she says she knew "everything that went on."
The third accuser, 23-year-old Zach Tomaselli, of Lewiston, Maine, emerged last week. He said he told police that Fine molested him in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room after a game.
Tomaselli, who faces sex abuse charges in Maine, told The Associated Press on Monday that he sexually abused a boy when the victim was 13 and 14 years old. He said he knew the boy and worked as a counselor at a camp he attended.
He has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges but told the AP he anticipates that he'll plead guilty. He said he doesn't want to hide behind an attorney anymore.
"The only thing that transpired was the same stuff that happened to me," Tomaselli said of his relationship with the teenage boy in Maine. "This kid has been through a lot because of the way I controlled him and abused him."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press