The latest news in the Bernie Fine sexual molestation allegations case doesn’t really pertain to Fine, but to Syracuse and coach Jim Boeheim. And none of it relates to the Orange’s season.
The trial location for the defamation lawsuit by two Fine accusers, Bobby Davis and Michael Lang, might have a destination soon. N.Y. State Supreme Court Justice Brian DeJoseph says he expect to rule on it by Wednesday afternoon.
Lang and Davis say Boeheim defamed them when he came to Fine’s defense back in November. The coach says his strong remarks were to defend his friend, a longtime Syracuse assistant who was fired after multiple sexual molestation allegations surfaced in Nov.
Lang and Davis want the trial in NYC. From the AP:
Mariann Wang, the lawyer representing the two men, told the judge that Boeheim and the university have “extensive and deep influence” in the Syracuse area that would make it difficult to seat an impartial jury. Wang said the university is a major employer, its No. 2-ranked team is immensely popular locally and Boeheim is so well known he doesn’t even have to identify himself on local TV commercials.
“Boeheim has enormous standing in the community,” she said.
Lawyers for Boeheim and the university want the case moved to Syracuse, partly because none of the parties lives in New York City. The university’s lawyer, Mary Beth Hogan, dismissed the notion that every potential juror near Syracuse would be biased. She noted that Davis in an affidavit talked about a stranger hugging him for his courage and noted that Boeheim was the target of criticism from locals after media reports of his initial reaction of the allegations against Fine.
“We have every reason to believe the court will be able to impanel an impartial jury here in Onondaga County,” she told the judge.
Fine has not been charged.
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