Almost exactly a year after the Bernie Fine scandal initially reared its ugly head, the Post-Standard is now reporting that Bernie Fine will not be charged after a long criminal investigation brought on by the multiple accusations of child molestation levied against him.
After nearly a year of police scouring more than 100,000 pages of seized documents and interviewing 130 witnesses, the investigation that attracted national media attention has ended, prosecutors said...
"The nature and seriousness of these allegations, which involved conduct typically committed in private with individuals who are reluctant to come forward, warranted a thorough federal investigation," U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said.
Due to the nature of this case, we may never know exactly what happened between Fine and his original accusers Bobby Davis and Mike Lang. The prosecutors are only acknowledging the status of the investigation at all because of the very public nature of the whole ordeal.
As a Syracuse fan, I'm personally relieved by all this. While Fine's name may never be fully cleared in the court of public opinion, I believe that most who have looked at this case through a scope of rationality know that there is a very good chance that he is truly innocent in this. The closing of this case should also help take the University and program's name out of much of the discourse surrounding the Jerry Sandusky scandal, although I'm not naïve enough to believe that it will never be brought back up.
...And so (hopefully) ends what has been one of the strangest, most trying sagas ever connected with Syracuse University. Above all else, I believe that we all hope that no one has actually been hurt in all of this, and that Bernie is in fact innocent of the accusations levied against him. The only door left open seem to be Laurie Fine's lawsuit against ESPN, which we haven't heard about in some time. Hopefully that, and whatever other leftover fallout, can be wrapped up soon, and we can put this whole situation behind us.