The U. S. Secret Service, New York State Police and Syracuse police searched Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine’s house and his SUVs the day after Thanksgiving. They took pictures, looked through trash and removed three filing cabinets in a raid that lasted well into the evening, according to The Post-Standard.
James Cohen, an assistant professor of law at Fordham University and a criminal defense attorney, told the newspaper that federal authorities could claim jurisdiction over the case if there is evidence of sexual acts involving children who are transported across state lines or of there is evidence of child pornography.
The search took place just eight days after two former Syracuse basketball team ball boys, Bobby Davis and his stepbrother, Mike Lang, said Fine sexually molested them more than 25 years ago. The university placed Fine on paid administrative leave. Fine calls the allegations “patently false.”
The Syracuse men’s basketball team played at Madison Square Garden in New York City while police descended on Fine’s home.
Syracuse head basketball coach Jim Boeheim continues to support Fine. He’s one of Fine’s neighbors.
The search began about 1:45 p.m. ET on Friday and lasted until about 9:00 p.m. ET. During the early stages of the raid, police talked to Fine who stood in the doorway of his house.
Three investigators looked through a trash can as Fine’s wife, Laurie, stood nearby.
As the search continued, police were seen walking the knolls that line two sides of Fine’s property and carting away evidence.
Boeheim has said he doesn’t believe the child molestation allegations levied against his long-time assistant coach and he said that he’s not covering up for Fine.
“I’m not Joe Paterno,” Boeheim said. “Somebody didn’t come and tell me Bernie Fine did something and I’m hiding it. I know nothing. If I saw some reason not to support Bernie, I would not support him. If somebody showed me a reason, proved that reason, I would not support him. But until then, I’ll support him until the day I die.”