What could well prove to be the most damning evidence against Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine was aired on ESPN this morning.
In a tape-recorded 2002 telephone conversation, the wife of Syracuse associate head coach Bernie Fine admitted she had concerns that her husband had sexually molested a team ball boy in their home, but said she felt powerless to stop the alleged abuse.
Bobby Davis, who has publicly accused Bernie Fine of years of molestation that Davis said started when he was in the seventh grade, legally recorded his Oct. 8, 2002, phone call to Laurie Fine.
“I know everything that went on, you know,” Laurie Fine said on the call, obtained by Outside the Lines from Davis. “I know everything that went on with him … Bernie has issues, maybe that he’s not aware of, but he has issues … And you trusted somebody you shouldn’t have trusted … ”
She continued: “Bernie is also in denial. I think that he did the things he did, but he’s somehow through his own mental telepathy has erased them out of his mind.”
ESPN has tried to reach Laurie and Bernie Fine for comment at their home and through Bernie Fine’s attorney for the past week and a half. Neither the Fines nor Bernie Fine’s attorney have responded.
It get even weirder now.
Later, Laurie Fine admitted to having a relationship with Davis. In the interview with ESPN, Davis said that occurred when he was 18 and a senior in high school. Davis said he told Bernie Fine about it, but Fine seemed unaffected. “I thought he was gonna kill me, but I had to tell him,” Davis said in the interview with ESPN. “I felt so bad. I told him about it what was going on with me and Laurie and it didn’t faze him one bit honestly.”
On the call, Laurie Fine told Davis she’d already warned her husband that one day his alleged molestation of Davis might become public.
“I said to him, ‘Bobby and I talked, and I know some things about you that if you keep pushing are going to be let out.’ ”
Davis continued: “He doesn’t think he can be touched … ”
Laurie Fine: “No … he thinks he’s above the law.”
Meanwhile, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported today a third alleged victim has come forward.
Zach Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine, told Syracuse police that Fine molested him in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room when Tomaselli was 13 years old.
Syracuse police detectives Raul Santana and Clark Farry interviewed Tomaselli, who grew up 78 miles north of Syracuse, for more than four hours Wednesday afternoon in Albany, Tomaselli said.
Tomaselli — who is facing sexual assault charges in Maine involving a 14-year-old boy — said he signed a police affidavit on Wednesday accusing Fine of molesting him in the Pittsburgh hotel the night before an SU game against Pitt.