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Syracuse basketball: Alleged Bernie Fine victim details abuse

November 28, 2011 | 12:06 pm

Zach Tomaselli, the third man to claim he was sexually abused by Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, alleges that Fine fondled him multiple times in a Pittsburgh hotel room when he was 13.

"He would put his hand down my shorts whenever I was sitting there watching TV and basically fondle me four to maybe even five times," Tomaselli told WHCS-TV in Portland, Maine. "And it would go in spurts of maybe 10 or 15 minutes and would stop for a couple of hours and then he would start that all over again and that lasted until 3 o'clock in the morning."

Tomaselli said he didn't realize that being fondled by an adult was wrong when he was a child because his father would do the same thing.

"I didn't think it was anything not normal at the time. I thought that this was something that a normal adult would do with a child, especially because my father had been doing it to me for a ... few months by then."

Tomaselli's father, Fred, denies the allegations. He thinks his son fabricated the accusations against Fine as well, telling WHCS that he doesn't think the two even ever met.

The younger Tomaselli was arrested in April on charges of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy. He has pleaded not guilty.

"The abuse from my father and Bernie Fine led to a lot of issues with me setting boundaries with children," said Tomaselli, who was not willing to discuss the case further.

Fine, who was an assistant at Syracuse for 35 years, was fired Sunday evening.


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