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Fine allegations : Tomaselli recants story, claims he’s never met Bernie Fine

Zach Tomaselli, the third man to make sexual abuse allegations against Bernie Fine, now says he made up the entire story. In a series of email exchanges to The Daily Orange, Tomaselli wrote that he never actually met Fine and has been lying for months.

‘It has become a burden of a lie and I am sick of it,’ Tomaselli wrote in an email to The Daily Orange. ‘Bobby Davis told me what to tell detectives and it pretty much took off from there. The evidence that supports me is just pure luck, not real evidence.’

Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine, accused the former Syracuse University associate men’s basketball coach of molesting him in a Pittsburgh hotel room in 2002 during an away game. Fine has denied the claims and has not been charged.

In a phone interview with CNY Central, Tomaselli said: ‘It was a game to me. It was fun trying to make this story come alive. I was told by Bobby Davis what kind of porn Bernie likes. So I would add we were watching lesbian porn and going on and on. But, it didn’t pan out because of my school records, there was a hole I didn’t fill,’ according to an online article published Friday.

Tomaselli went on to write in the email, ‘I NEVER met Bernie fine or went to an autograph session. I sat in the nosebleeds at the Pitt game at the dome in ’03 but that is it. I lied.’

Davis denied telling Tomaselli details of his interactions with Fine when interviewed by ESPN on Friday.

‘I never said anything like that at all to the kid,’ Davis told ESPN, according to an article published online Friday. ‘I just spoke to him a couple minutes. There were like two phone calls between us and they lasted a total of three to four minutes.

‘It was very short,’ Davis said of their conversations, according to the article. ‘I asked him all the questions. I asked him to describe Bernie’s house, to describe the arena, to name the players on the team at that time. He kept changing his story with me. He couldn’t name the players, couldn’t describe the house. I said, ‘You just need to call the police.’ I called back and asked him if he called the police and he said, ‘No one answered.’ I said, ‘No one answered?”

Tomaselli said he misled the police, media and general public because he greatly disliked the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team after it beat his favorite team, the Kansas Jayhawks, in the 2003 championship game.

‘I don’t have feelings most of the time. I just hate people without caring,’ Tomaselli wrote.

Tomaselli said he wasn’t sorry for lying about the case or accusing Fine, but did feel bad about hurting SU head coach Jim Boeheim, who is being sued for defamation by Fine’s first two accusers, Davis and Mike Lang, according to the CNY Central article.

Tomaselli will begin serving a three-year and three-month prison sentence April 18 for sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy who attended a summer camp where Tomaselli used to be a counselor.

When asked if the real reason he lied about Fine was to gain leniency in his own abuse case, Tomaselli said, ‘I can’t talk about my case, but you can guess the answer,’ according to the article.

egsawyer@syr.edu

-Staff Writer Michael Cohen contributed reporting to this article.

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