Syracuse University has fired assistant coach Bernie Fine after 35 years with Syracuse's basketball team, days after a third man claimed Fine molested him as a teenager.
The latest accusations could possibly lead to criminal charges, thanks to a change in state law regarding the reporting of child sex crimes.
Fine, 65, has denied any wrongdoing, and has not been charged. Syracuse University placed Fine on administrative leave more than a week ago, when reports of sexual abuse allegations first surfaced against him.
A former Syracuse ball boy, now 39, alleged Fine molested him for years as a teenager.
The alleged victim went to police in 2003, but investigators told him the statute of limitations had already expired. A second alleged victim, now 45, alleged similar abuse.
Under New York law in 2003, child sex abuse victims had until the age of 23 to report the abuse, CNYCentral.com reports. The first two victims, it seems, were too late at the time.
But the law changed in 2006. Now, there is no statute of limitations for victims of most child sex crimes in New York, according to CNYCentral.com.
A third alleged victim, now 23, came forward with new accusations last week, The Syracuse Post-Standard reports. The accuser's story, that Fine molested him in a hotel room when he was 13 years old, could be enough to bring criminal charges if confirmed by investigators.
Bernie Fine's firing led to a change of heart by Syracuse basketball's head coach Jim Boeheim, who at first accused the victims of "trying to get money" in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal at Penn State.
Boeheim on Sunday called the new allegations "disturbing and deeply troubling." Also Sunday, Syracuse University's trustees hired an outside law firm to investigate the university's initial handling of the accusations against Fine.
- Bernie Fine fired amid abuse allegations (ESPN)
- Zach Tomaselli; Bernie Fine's Third Accuser Steps Forward (FindLaw's New York Criminal Law Blog)
- Syracuse Basketball Coach Accused of Sex Abuse (FindLaw's Blotter)
- State Child Abuse Laws (FindLaw)