The Bernie Fine case has taken a turn into a civil court, as one of his accusers files a lawsuit. YNN's Bill Carey says the action was filed in a Pennsylvania courtroom on Thursday.
PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Zach Tomaselli says he is telling the truth and that the truth is simple.
“I was sexually abused by Bernie Fine after he invited me to a Syracuse game,” Tomaselli said.
Tomaselli took his claim to a court in Pittsburgh, the city where he claims Fine spent the night with him at a hotel in January of 2002.
“At the time, I wasn't even able to understand the process as it is as abuse. But now I know what harm he has done to me and others,” Tomaselli said.
The lawsuit claiming the abuse did substantial harm to Tomaselli, setting the stage, he says, for his own abuse of another young man, a charge Tomaselli is facing in the state of Maine.
While the civil suit gets underway, Tomaselli's attorney says he is still hopeful the criminal justice system, in the form of the U.S. Attorney's office, can still make a case that would put Bernie Fine behind bars.
“Zach remains in full cooperation with them. Is prepared to continue to cooperate with them, as he has already,” said Jeffrey Anderson, Tomaselli’s attorney.
Tomaselli's case was dealt a setback by the District Attorney of Onondaga County who said his own review of the case led him to hand over to Bernie Fine's defense team, information that could be used to undercut Tomaselli's claims.
William Fitzpatrick went on to raise more eyebrows in a CNN interview after the news conference, in which he said he had conducted negotiations with Fine's attorneys for a deal that would keep Fine away from young people.
Fitzpatrick said, “Before the feds got involved in this case, I met with Bernie Fine's lawyer and, with Bobby Davis' permission, I suggested the following scenario. I said, look, I have proof that Bobby Davis is telling the truth. The lawyer didn't seem surprised by that. Bernie Fine needs to acknowledge that Bobby's telling the truth. That's important.”
The one case that could have been handled by the District Attorney's office has already passed the statute of limitations. And one source refers to the concept of such negotiations by the DA as "bizarre."
The U.S. Attorney's office isn't talking about Fitzpatrick's comments or about its ongoing investigation.