Fourth Accuser in Fine Case

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) – A New York prison inmate has come forward with accusations that he was sexually molested by former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine as a child, starting more than 40 years ago, according to a report published Thursday.

Former Syracuse basketball assistant coach Bernie Fine, who has been at the center of sex-abuse allegations, watches a college basketball game against Manhattan in Syracuse, N.Y. Enlarge

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reported that 56-year-old Floyd VanHooser told the newspaper Wednesday that Fine began sexually abusing him when VanHooser was 14 years old.

VanHooser is the fourth man to accuse Fine of sexual abuse. Fine was fired Nov. 27 after a 36-year career at Syracuse after three men said he molested them when they were boys.

Fine has denied wrongdoing.

VanHooser is serving 16 years to life at Clinton state prison for repeatedly burglarizing Syracuse-area homes. He was sentenced in October for being a persistent felony burglar.

VanHooser told the newspaper Syracuse police interviewed him last month at Elmira Correctional Facility, where he was being held before being moved to Clinton in northern New York. He said police told him that his former case worker contacted them and told them they should talk to VanHooser about his relationship with Fine.

VanHooser told the Post-Standard that he was orphaned before he was 13 and lived with Fine on and off for nearly 40 years. He said the sexual contact continued over four decades

VanHooser hasn't responded to a written request from The Associated Press for an interview regarding the accusations against Fine.

Last week, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick referred to a fourth accuser in the Fine case as someone serving a life sentence in prison as a persistent felon, but didn't disclose his name.

"There simply is no victim No. 4," Fitzpatrick said during a news conference.

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