Syracuse, N.Y. – Onondaga County Prosecutor William Fitzpatrick says he cannot bring
charges against a former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach because the statute of limitations has passed, but, he said, "despite the state of limitations" he "finds the two men who accused him of sexual abuse are credible."
He noted the federal probe is ongoing into the accusations against fired coach Bernie Fine.
He sounded apologetic saying, "If we had investigated in '05...we wouldn't be here today...and I suspect Bernie Fine would've been fired a long time ago."
Of the three men who have accused Fine, Fitzpatrick says circumstances point to the first two being believable, and that the third man's allegations don't relate to Onondaga County.
He said he had found that the Syracuse Police Department had not discouraged any revelations along the way, but that "inadequete interest" was displayed and "no curiosity was shown."
He noted that the incident at Penn State had been lumped with the Syracuse accusations, and said, "Comparisons to Penn State are inaccurate and not fair."
He discouraged calls for resignations from university officials.
The D.A. apologized directly to Bobby Davis: "Davis acted simply because it was the right thing to do."
About what can be learned for the future, Fitzpatrick said, "Let Bobby Davis speak for all of us when he said, 'A lot of good can come from this.'"
No charges have been filed against Bernie Fine, who maintains his denial of any abuse.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)