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The Early Lead
Posted at 11:56 AM ET, 12/15/2011

Bernie Fine scandal: Fourth man accuses ex-Syracuse coach of sexual abuse

A fourth man has come forward with sexual abuse accusations against fired Syracuse assistant men’s basketball coach Bernie Fine.

The latest individual to claim he was sexually molested by the the 65-year-old Fine is currently serving a 16 years to life sentence at New York’s Clinton state prison for repeatedly burglarizing Syracuse-area homes.

Floyd VanHooser, 56, told the Syracuse Post-Standard on Wednesday that Fine began sexually abusing him more than 40 years ago, when he was 14 years old. VanHooser, whose parents died before he turned 13, says he lived with Fine on and off for nearly 40 years. During that time, VanHooser said Fine pressured him and later paid him for oral sex.

VanHooser joins former Syracuse ball boy Bobby Davis, Davis’ step-brother Mike Lang, and Zach Tomaselli as individuals who have accused Fine of sexual abuse during their youth.

Davis and Lang sued Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim and the university for defamation Tuesday, citing Boeheim’s initial response to their allegations.

On Nov. 17, Boeheim told the Post-Standard:

“The Penn State thing came out, and the kid behind this is trying to get money. If he gets this, he’s going to sue the university and Bernie. What do you think is going to happen at Penn State? You know how much money is going to be involved in civil suits? I’d say about $50 million. That’s what this is about. Money.”

Boeheim later apologized for the remarks, saying “I believe I misspoke very badly” and “I regret any harm that I caused.”

On Tuesday, police arrested Tomaselli in Lewiston, Maine, for violating his bail conditions by giving a ride to a minor. Tomaselli, 23, who has filed a civil lawsuit alleging Fine of molested him in 2002 in a hotel room and Pittsburgh, currently faces 11 charges including gross sexual assault.

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By  |  11:56 AM ET, 12/15/2011

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