Syracuse coach investigation faces challenges

By MICHAEL VIRTANEN | December 6, 2011 | 12:06 PM EST

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Attorneys say the investigation into alleged child molestation by former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine faces obstacles that include finding corroborating proof, statutes of limitations on old accusations, and the credibility of the accusers.

Fine was fired following public accusations by three men and the release of a 2002 telephone audiotape purporting to show his wife knew he sexually abused a former team ball boy.

The 65-year-old Fine has denied wrongdoing.

Lawyers say the tape would probably be classified as inadmissible hearsay, while his wife generally couldn't be compelled to testify against her husband.

The current federal investigation hinges on the claims of the third man, 23-year-old Zach Tomaselli of Lewiston, Maine, who is himself facing sex-abuse charges.