Man who accused Syracuse coach of abuse seen in car with boy, police say

By Christopher Williams, Sun Journal
Posted Dec. 17, 2011, at 5:19 a.m.

AUBURN — Police say Zachary Tomaselli, a self-described sex-abuse victim and abuser, violated his bail conditions by having contact with a 12-year-old boy.

Prosecutors have filed a motion to revoke his bail. A hearing on that motion is scheduled for Tuesday in Androscoggin County Superior Court. He remained in Androscoggin County Jail on Friday.

Tomaselli made national headlines last month when he accused a former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach of sexual assault. The Lewiston man had himself been charged with numerous sexual-abuse crimes involving a boy younger than 14 years old.

Police said in a sworn statement that a man called police to report that he saw Tomaselli driving his grandmother’s car, carrying as passengers a woman and a boy.

The car left a Knox Street building in Lewiston with the woman driving and Tomaselli in the passenger seat. The boy, who wore a baseball cap, was in the rear driver’s-side seat. The three returned to Knox Street and got out of the car. Tomaselli got back into the car and drove away, police said.

Lewiston police Officer Joseph Philippon wrote that the conditions of Tomaselli’s release prohibit him from having contact with anyone younger than 18, except at work, where he is a line cook. There, he’s allowed incidental contact.

Philippon wrote that Tomaselli’s license had been suspended because he failed to pay fines and fees.

The caller who tipped police showed them where Tomaselli had dropped off the woman and boy. Police recognized the woman from media reports as Tomaselli’s friend Rose Ryan, who lived at that address. Philippon also knew she had a 12-year-old son. He is not the boy involved in Tomaselli’s sexual assault charges.

Philippon wrote that he talked to Ryan, who said Tomaselli’s conditions of release had been changed to permit supervised visits with minors. After checking with the victim advocate at the Androscoggin County District Attorney’s Office and the Androscoggin County Superior Court clerk’s office, Philippon learned that Tomaselli’s conditions hadn’t been changed to allow supervised visits.

Police went to Tomaselli’s home where he told them he lent Ryan his car to pick up her son, but that he leaves when her son is present. He also said he didn’t have a driver’s license.

He denied he drove Ryan and her son, saying she borrowed his car to get her son while Tomaselli stayed at her home and wasn’t in the car with them. He said he couldn’t explain Ryan’s version of events that put them all together in the car.

Philippon arrested Tomaselli and took him to Androscoggin County Jail.

Ryan later told Philippon that he had misunderstood her earlier version of events and corroborated Tomaselli’s narrative. She accused police of targeting Tomaselli, Philippon wrote.

The tipster picked Tomaselli out of a photo lineup of six men.

Tomaselli said earlier this month that he was guilty of the criminal charges he faces in Maine.

Tomaselli was indicted on four felony and seven misdemeanor charges, including gross sexual assault, tampering with a victim and two counts of unlawful sexual contact.

Tomaselli has accused former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of molesting him in 2002, when Tomaselli was 13. A Syracuse prosecutor has voiced skepticism of Tomaselli’s accusations against Fine, but that did not stop Tomaselli from filing a lawsuit against the former assistant coach on Dec. 7.

Fine was fired after Tomaselli and two others went public with their accusations against him in November. Fine has denied the charges.

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http://bangordailynews.com/2011/12/17/news/police-beat/man-who-accused-syracuse-coach-of-abuse-seen-in-car-with-boy-police-say/ printed on December 28, 2014