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Accuser of Syracuse coach Bernie Fine admits to sexually abusing boy

Zach Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine, leaves Androscoggin Superior Court in Auburn, Maine, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. Tomaselli, who accused former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of molesting him is seeking to suppress evidence in his own molestation case in Maine. He faces charges of abusing a boy under 14. AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Zach Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine, leaves Androscoggin Superior Court in Auburn, Maine, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011.
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

(CBS/AP) PORTLAND, MAINE - A man who accuses former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of molesting him admitted Monday that he himself sexually abused a boy in Maine.

Zach Tomaselli, 23, told The Associated Press that he knew the boy, who was 13 or 14 at the time of the abuse, and that he worked as a counselor at a camp the boy attended.

Tomaselli says he was subconsciously grooming the boy for a relationship and he's glad that he was caught before the abuse became worse, so that he can get help.

Tomaselli became the third man to level sexual abuse allegations against Fine when he told police in Syracuse that Fine first molested him in a Pittsburgh hotel room in 2002. He said Fine - who has denied any wrongdoing but was fired by the university - showed him porn, fondled him and watched him shower naked.

"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."

Tomaselli has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges including gross sexual assault, tampering with a victim and unlawful sexual contact.

But he said he anticipates that he'll plead guilty in Superior Court and that a plea bargain is in the works. The plea bargain calls for him to serve three years, or perhaps less, in prison and to register as a sex offender for life, he said.

Defense lawyer Justin Leary said Tomaselli's confession was coerced by a detective after a lengthy interview. Leary declined comment Monday evening on his client's comments to the AP.

Two other men, Bobby Davis and his stepbrother Mike Lang, have also accused Fine of sexually abusing them.

More on Crimesider
November 28, 2011 - Syracuse asst. basketball coach Bernie Fine fired following 3rd allegation of sex abuse
November 18, 2011 - Syracuse asst. basketball coach Bernie Fine put on leave following allegations of sex abuse

  • Crimesider Staff

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