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Attorney: Maine accuser to drop suit against Fine

- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2012

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - The attorney for a Maine man who accused fired Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of molesting him says he's dropping a civil lawsuit filed in Pittsburgh.

Jeffrey R. Anderson, attorney for Zach Tomaselli, said in a statement Friday that he "will be dismissing his case" against Fine and will no longer represent Tomaselli.

"We are sad and disappointed that we cannot pursue justice for Zach, but we will continue to support him in his recovery," Anderson said.

Anderson dropped the lawsuit after the 23-year-old Tomaselli told The Post-Standard of Syracuse in an interview earlier Friday that he altered emails from Syracuse police before forwarding them to the paper in an attempt to bolster his account.

But Tomaselli insisted he didn't make up the allegations about Fine molesting him when he was 13 in a Pittsburgh hotel room.

"I did not fabricate the story," he told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "The investigation is still ongoing. There's plenty of evidence I've been cooperating. A lot of corroboration has occurred, there's plenty of evidence."

Tomaselli said the police investigation is ongoing as far as he knows, and he said he has not asked police to end their investigation.

"I'm going to let the investigation speak for itself," he said.

Syracuse police spokesman Sgt. Tom Connellan referred all questions to the U.S. Attorney's office.

"The investigation is still pending," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Duncan said Friday, declining further comment.

There was no immediate comment from Fine's attorney, Karl Sleight.

Two former ballboys for the Syracuse men's basketball team also accused Fine of molesting them. Fine has denied the allegations.

Only Tomaselli's case falls within the statute of limitations.

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