Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick held a press conference today to discuss the state of the investigation into sexual abuse claims made against former Syracuse Orange coach Bernie Fine.
Let's break down what he had to say:
As we pretty much knew, the statute of limitations has passed on any kind of prosecution.
As for the accusers themselves, Bobby Davis and Mike Lang have come across as "credible."Had he known of Davis' claim before the statute was up, he feels as though he would have prosecuted Bernie Fine.
Zach Tomaselli, meanwhile, seems to lost what credibility he did have now that Copenhagen School District records show that he was not in Pittsburgh when Syracuse played the Panthers in 2002. He was in school. Combined with the fact that the team traveled by plane from Tennessee to the game, which contrsdicts Tomaselli's original claim that he took the team bus to the game, and Zach's not looking too good at the moment.
Combine that with the fact that he has openly-admitted to have sexually-abused a 13-year-old boy amongst his many, many public interviews in the last few weeks and Tomaselli is deep trouble.
Tomaselli, for his part, has responded:
He (Fitzpatrick) admitted he has nothing to do with my case. He doesn't even have my affidavit, yet he thinks he's undermined my story? I find that laughable. More will come from my attorney later.
Hey, whatever happened to that fourth victim that was supposed to come forward and make shocking allegations that would tear Syracuse University asunder?
He said that person is a persistent felony offender serving a life sentence in state prison who is not credible.
Fitzpatrick said that the internal investigation done by Syracuse University in 2005 was "inadequate" but that asking for the resignation of Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor or Jim Boeheim is unfair.
Blame, he said, stops with one man: "Hasn't Bernie Fine caused enough pain in this community?" Fitzpatrick said.
He said it also was wrong to make any comparison to the sex scandal at Penn State University that cost legendary football coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham Spanier their jobs.
"It's not only inaccurate, it's not fair," he said.
As for the Syracuse police and the way they handled the initial investigation and their subsequent reaction to information requests, Ftizpatrick backed way off his "fiefdom" comments from a few weeks back.
"Certainly, in hindsight, more should have been done to encourage Bobby Davis to come forward, to make him feel welcome to come in and give a statement, and new procedures have been put in place by Chief (Frank) Fowler to address that issue," Fitzpatrick said.
"There is not a shred of evidence that we have uncovered, or a suggestion of evidence, that anybody at the Syracuse Police Department was directed to ignore this matter, destroy their notes or to encourage Bobby Davis to remain silent," Fitzpatrick said.
Finally, does he think Bernie Fine is guilty?
"It is not my place to pronounce Bernie Fine guilty of anything," he said.
No, that's ESPN's job. Duh.