Report: Syracuse Sex-Abuse Probe Prompt But Flawed

Ann McClure's picture

Syracuse University's prompt response to allegations of sexual abuse against an assistant basketball coach was done in good faith but was flawed because, among other things, there was no direct contact with law enforcement, a special committee of the university's board of trustees said in a report released Thursday.

Although the 52-page document states there was no attempt to "cover up" any conduct, it reiterates a criticism voiced by Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick that police and the district attorney should have been notified immediately so they could conduct the investigation with all the experience and tools available to law enforcement.

The committee assessed the university's response to allegations that Bernie Fine had sexually abused former ball boy Bobby Davis. It said Davis' allegations "should have been viewed from the outset as involving serious alleged crimes."

Davis, now 41, claims Fine molested him for years beginning when he was around 12 years old. He took the claims to university officials in September 2005.

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