Updated 12/05/2011 09:00 PM
Court papers released in Bernie Fine case
We have now learned exactly what federal agents were looking for and what they seized from the home and office of former Syracuse University associate basketball coach Bernie Fine. According to court documents released Monday, investigators have been looking for pornography that could be used to "groom young males'' for sex. As our Katie Gibas reports, they are also investigating whether Fine took minors across state lines for sex.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It's been just two and a half weeks since allegations of child molestation by the former SU assistant basketball coach were made public. In that time, Bernie Fine has been suspended from his job, his home and office searched and then subsequently fired after an audio tape alludes to his wife's knowledge of the molestations.
Now, just over a week after the first search warrant was executed at his DeWitt home November 25th, we learn what federal investigators were looking for and what was taken as evidence.
According to the court documents, federal agents were looking for pornography or any material that could have been used to "sexually arouse or groom young males to engage in sex acts."
At the time of the search, we knew three large filing cabinets were taken. The search and seizure warrant documents a long list of items taken from his home, including hundreds of CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes, boxes of photos and negatives, along with a number of cell phones, computers and cameras.
A search of his office at Syracuse University's Carmelo Anthony Center was conducted Tuesday, November 29th. The warrant documents reveal federal agents confiscated two computers, 135 CDs, 217 VHS tapes and boxes of documents and photos.
The warrant documents also reveal two additional searches of safe deposit boxes at two different banks. Nothing was found in the box at HSBC, but seven letters were taken from two safe deposit boxes at Key Bank.
At this point, we do not know what is on any of the confiscated material.
In a written statement on November 18th, Fine denied the molestation allegations. Since then, his lawyer has issued two more statements saying Fine will not comment any further, as he does not want to "invite or perpetuate ancient and suspect claims."
The U.S. Attorney’s office is leading the investigation.