tv CNN Newsroom CNN November 27, 2011 2:30pm-3:00pm EST
the next list. you're in the cnn newsroom. i'm fredricka whitfield. here is what's happening. shocking new developments in the sex abuse scandal with syracuse university's assistant basketball coach. bernie fine's wife reportedly admitted she had concerns her husband molested a boy in their home. espn reports bobby davis, the alleged victim, recorded a phone call with the coach's wife in 2002 in which she said, quote, i know everything that went on and you have trusted somebody you shouldn't have. end quote. we'll have more on this story in a moment, including the reporter who broke it. and it is the last day of the thanksgiving holiday. whether you're lining up in the airports or prepping the car for a ride home, expect weather delays. a line of storms could bring
plenty of rain from the great lakes to the gulf coast. some of that rain may change into snow showers. karen maginnis will join us in 20 minutes on the weather trouble spots. republican presidential candidate newt gingrich picks up an important endorsement from new hampshire's largest newspaper. today's edition of "the union leader" says the former house speaker is by no means the perfect contender, but calls him the best candidate who is actually running. right now, back to our top story. lori fine, wife of syracuse university associate head basketball coach, bernie fine, may have been aware of her husband's alleged inappropriate acts with children. espn's outside the lines released audio tape given to them by bobby davis, the man who has publicly accused the coach of years of molestation. in the tape mrs. fine says among other things she witnessed one of the acts. espn has independently confirmed the voice on the recording is
that of lori fine. here is espn's mark schwartz. first a warning, the piece you're about to see contains graphic sexual content. >> bobby davis says he knew of one person who could validate he was being sexually abused by bernie fine. that person was fine's wife, lori fine. >> hello. >> hello. >> hi, bobby, how are you? >> davis says in october of 2002 he recorded a phone conversation of lori fine without her knowledge. a legal act based on the location of both parties. during the call, fine seen here in hidden camera video from 2003 discussed the alleged sexual molestation of davis by her husband, syracuse associate head basketball coach, bernie fine.
>> what did you want you to do? did he want you to grab him? >> you never had any oral sex with him. >> no. >> he's trying to make me. >> of course he was. >> after bringing the allegations to a police detective in 2002 and getting nowhere, davis said he was determined to confirm his story. he says he hoped lori fine would disclose on tape the details of her own knowledge of the abuse he says started when he was 12 and continued for more than a decade. >> so what were you hoping to accomplish by recording it? >> laurie was a person i talked to about the situation as i got older. she was there a lot of the times, seen a lot of things that
were going on, you know, when bernie would come down the basement in his house at night, when i was laying down there. she had to see him every night do that. laurie was the only one else that knew about what was going on and saw things that were happening with her own eyes and that we talked about it. >> i know everything that went on you know, i know everything that went on with him. bernie is an idiot. maybe he is not aware of it, but he is an idiot. [ inaudible ] >> davis who periodically stayed here at the fine's former home beginning in the 7th grade and at one point had his own room in their basement says laurie fine told him she was aware that her husband was sexually abusing him. >> am i the only one he has done
that to? >> no. >> one time she talked about an instance she saw him through the basement window and left like the blinds open a little one night, and watched through the window. >> what did she see. >> bernie grabbing me, touching me, and she said the next day, we got to do something, this is when i was a little older, a junior in high school. got to step up to it, say something, you have to be a man. >> during the phone call, davis explained to laurie fine when he was about 27 years old in the late '90s, he asked bernie fine for $5,000 to help pay off some student loans. >> when he gave you the money, what did he want for it? what did he want to do for you? >> he wanted to do me. he grabbed my hand, pull away,
put me in your bed. [ inaudible ] >> right, right. [ inaudible ] >> i'm telling you for your open good, you're better off staying away from him. >> during the call, laurie fine suggested to davis what her husband should do with his need for male companionship. >> you know what, go to a place where -- have it be over with. [ inaudible ] >> at one point, laurie fine seems to say her husband was not the only adult in the fine household who betrayed davis' trust. >> so who was the other person in the fine household who may have betrayed a young bobby
now to the espn investigation. laurie fine, wife of associate head basketball coach bernie fine may have been aware of her husband's alleged inappropriate acts with children. in a shocking revelation, she says another person in the fine household may have also betrayed a young bobby davis. espn's mark schwartz has the
rest of the story. first, another warning, the piece you're about to see contains graphic sexual content. >> at one point, laurie fine seems to say her husband was not the only adult in the fine household who betrayed davis' trust. >> he had no business doing what he did with you. >> help screw you up a little more, too. >> davis says he and laurie fine had a sexual relationship that she initiated when she says he was 18 and a senior in high school. >> were you ever with her sexually? >> yes. >> slept with her? >> yes. >> had intercourse with her? >> yes. >> does bernie fine know about that? >> i did tell bernie when i got older. when i was a kid, i thought he was going to kill me. i had to tell him, i told him about it, what was going on with
me and laurie. didn't phase him. >> later in the call, laurie tells davis she wanted to come to his defense but she just wasn't capable of it. >> because i care about you and i didn't want to see you be treated that way. it is like another girl like i told you it would be easy to step in because you know what you're up against, you're, when it's someone, it's another guy, you can't compete with that. >> this is adults that didn't step in, who in fact sort of allowed it, created a space for it to go on. >> danielle roach, who has been friends with davis since the second grade says as a teenager she served as the fine's baby-sitter about three years. recently, roach listened to the conversation again. davis first played the call for
her after recording it in 2002. >> this tape tells me that laurie knew and watched it go on, knowingly that it was going on in her home for a long time. >> roach, who is now a mother herself, says she cannot imagine how any mother could know sexual abuse was happening in her home and not act. >> it's amazing that she can say some of the things she says to bobby, couldn't pick up the phone and say maybe this isn't the place for your kid, maybe he shouldn't be here. >> at the time, davis says he questioned whether anyone would ever believe his story. yet laurie fine tells him she's already warned her husband one day his alleged molestation of davis might become public. >> i said to him, you know, i
know some things about you that if you keep -- if you keep pushing are going to be let out. >> that was mark schwartz. cnn reached out to many for reaction to the story, including syracuse university and the syracuse police. no response so far. we got the following statement from fine's attorneys saying this. mr. fine will not comment on newspaper stories beyond his initial statement. any comment from him would only invite and perpetuate ancient and suspect claims, end quote. so after the break, we'll be talking to the reporter that broke this story, espn's mark schwartz in syracuse. and a lot of you are heading home as this long thanksgiving holiday weekend comes to a close. find out if the weather will be a problem, or is it cooperating
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[♪...] >> announcer: now get a $250 airfare credit, plus save up to 65%. call 1-800-sandals. certain restrictions apply. laurie fine, the wife of syracuse university associate head basketball coach bernie fine may have been aware of her husband's inappropriate acts with children. that's what she said in an audio tape recorded in 2002. the alleged victim, bobby davis, gave the tape to espn the
following year. espn outside the lines aired the tape today. why is this tape the centerpiece of espn's report now if the sports network had it in its possession for some eight years? mark schwartz of espn broke this story and joins me from syracuse, new york. mark, good to see you. why are you now airing this tape? what's happened in all this time? >> as you may know, we interviewed bobby davis extensively in several locations for dozens of hours, both on the phone, on camera, and we had what we thought was a very credible story. however, what we did not have at the time was someone to corroborate the facts of his story, another alleged victim of the same abuser, the alleged abuser in this case, bernie fine. we did have the tape at the time as you say, and we had bobby davis, one victim, but only ten
days ago on thursday, the 17th, did a second victim actually come forward and appear on camera, and that was 45-year-old mike lange, who is the older stepbrother of bobby davis who alleged a very similar pattern of abuse from bernie fine. at that point our goal was to first of all get a voice recognition expert who could verify as much as possible that this was indeed the voice of laurie fine. we also spent time reaching out to the fines beginning early last week, wanting to get their comment. reached out through their attorneys, did not hear from them. in fact, we got the same release that you did, saying mr. fine will not comment on news stories beyond his initial statement. >> what did authorities say, if anything, when you went to them we have this tape while we can't
recently find out about information to corroborate on the tape. what can you do with this information? >> well, you know, we don't see it as our job to go to authorities with evidence that we collect. we did not go to the authorities with the tape. the authorities did speak to bobby davis before the tape was made in 2002. he spoke to a syracuse police detective that he says spent five minutes on the phone with him, didn't even do a detective report. told him the statute of limitations had come and gone, and that is why bobby davis says he recorded the tape to try to at least corroborate his story this way. he was determined laurie fine who he says had a window into the abuse literally one time saw the abuse going on in the home through a basement window with her husband and bobby davis, and she alleged that that actually did happen on the tape. but once the interviews were done ten days ago with bobby davis and mike lange, that tape
then through them got in the hands of the police department and is evidence in this case. the district attorney, bill fitzpatrick also has a copy of the tape. >> following the november 17th, that's what alerted espn or you to say let's try to get this voice recognition. why was that not done before? >> well, it was important to do that if we were actually going to air the tape. these are grave charges. we had to do everything that we could to confirm that the voice was indeed laurie fine. bobby davis told us it was laurie fine. you hear on the tape he says hello, laurie, she says hello, bobby, but in this type of case you have to confirm it. that's why we wanted to before airing it take the extra step to run it by a voice recognition expert that says yes, that is the voice of laurie fine. we compared it to other voice of laurie fine examples we were able to provide. >> who shot the videotape of her behind a counter?
>> we shot hidden camera video in 2003, which was one of the areas where we had, you know, her voice on tape. we were able to compare her voice from 2003 and the call from 2002, and that's how the voice recognition expert was able to verify for us that that was, indeed, her voice. >> talk to me about the legality of why that audio tape recording, why bobby davis was not breaking the law the way in which he did it? >> okay. well, bobby davis made the call from saint george, utah. the call was received here in syracuse, new york. now, both of those states, utah and new york, are one party states, and what that means by law, it is legal to record a conversation with someone without the second party knowing. in utah and in new york, the origin and the source of the call, both states are one party states. the call was then made legally. >> and what does bobby davis
want to happen from this point forward now? >> i have spoken to bobby davis about exactly that. he's told me he doesn't want an apology from bernie fine. he doesn't want to see bernie fine publicly humiliated, in fact. he doesn't want money. he hasn't hired an attorney. he says what he has wanted all along is that bernie fine seek help and that bernie fine ask forgiveness, and i think what he's told me he wants most of all is to make sure no other victims are hurt by a man he says hurt him, stole his childhood so many years ago. >> did bobby davis reveal why he continued this relationship with laurie and bernie fine well after his 18th birthday, that he on his own based on this interview reached out to the fines? >> absolutely.
that's a great question and important question. on the phone call in an excerpt you don't hear but may in the future, there's an exchange between bobby davis and laurie fine where he says you know, i don't know if i'll speak to you guys again. you guys are like family to me, i miss you guys, and laurie fine's response is i'm the mother you never had. now, bobby davis felt an extraordinary attachment to this entire family, bernie fine, laurie fine, their children. he didn't have that much family, he was from a blended family. he spent more time in teenage years with the fines rather than his family. i am not an expert, psychologist, a victim's advocate, but i have been told that the power and connection in the relationship between the alleged victim and the abuser is such that there's extraordinary devotion and dedication to that
person for many years, even long after he reached the age of 18. >> now a third accuser has stepped forward. however, this accusation is being treated a little differently. explain what's happening here. >> there was a young man from lewiston, maine, claims ten years ago he was allegedly sexually abused by bernie fine. he has done a sworn affidavit this week with the syracuse police department, and we have spoken with him as well. we are still vetting his information, but he is another person that is part of the police investigation at this point. that is true. he also faces sexual abuse charges himself for molesting allegedly a person under the age of 14. >> and is it also the case that his own father is undermining
his character and credibility? >> i have spoken with him about that. i wanted to be in touch with his father. he told me that his father and he have not spoken in as much as four years and his father did in the syracuse post standard who reported that story, his father did call him a liar. his father also apparently called him a liar that he didn't make a statement to the police, and he told me that well, at least that is certainly confirmed because i have made a statement to the police, so i am not lying about that. >> again, you have reached out to the university, the athletic department, syracuse police, the attorney general's office, just as cnn has done so. no response from them yet. however, is it your feeling as a result of the airing of these audiotapes that were in your possession that the university may perhaps take a different stand since the university and athletic department head coach had been backing bernie fine as a result of those allegations
that came to the surface november 17th? >> fredricka, there's no way to know that. all i know is that espn.com, our online source, reached out to jim boeheim and the syracuse public relations department released a statement saying jim boeheim will have nothing further to add on this issue. that came today. so at this point no comment coming out of syracuse university. we reached out to the chancellor ourselves just today. >> and you're there still in syracuse, new york. any reaction from the general populous there? >> no, but we anticipate there probably will be. a lot of people are very fond of bernie fine. he has been in this community for decades. he has been an important figure here. these are grave charges and he has many people that still defend and he has not been charged with anything by the police. that's very important to know. >> mark schwartz, thanks so much for being with us of espn.
let's check with karen maginnis with the travel forecast. >> we have word from hartsfield-jackson international airport, they have a ground delay. it just updated. they were looking at an airplane that had three blown tires producing some delays there. now we have fog out of san francisco. teeter borrow, ground delays due to volume. if watching there, more than two hours delay there. also philadelphia, the wind kicked up, reduced visibility, and in west palm beach, they have increasing delays, thanks to the volume that's taking
place. but big rain delays. lots of heavy rainfall. if you're out on the highways, interstates running across tennessee, 3 to 6 inches of rainfall. >> all right, thanks so much, karen. appreciate that. see you again at 4:00 eastern for an entire hour of politics, for the presidential race of 2012. then 5:00 eastern, more on the syracuse investigation and more news. fredric fredricka whitfield, see you then.