DANNEMORA, N.Y. - A 56-year-old New York prison inmate says former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine began molesting him more than 40 years ago and continued to have sexual contact with him into adulthood.
Floyd VanHooser told the Associated Press during a prison interview Thursday that Fine began sexually abusing him when VanHooser was 14. As an adult, the contact included sex acts for money.
VanHooser is the fourth man to accuse Fine of sexual abuse. He initially made his allegations to the Post-Standard of Syracuse.
Fine was fired Nov. 27 following a 36-year career at Syracuse after three men said he molested them when they were boys.
Fine has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged. A federal investigation continues.
His lawyers did not immediately return a call Thursday seeking comment.
VanHooser is serving 16 years to life at Clinton state prison near the Canadian border for several burglaries of Syracuse-area homes. He was sentenced in October as a persistent felony burglar.
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. But Fitzpatrick said that person's claims were not credible.
"There simply is no victim No. 4," Fitzpatrick said during a news conference.
VanHooser said both his parents had died by the time he was 13 and he moved in with Fine at age 14, which is when the abuse started. Though he began running away after six months, VanHooser said he saw Fine on and off for nearly 40 years. He said the sexual contact continued over that period.
VanHooser said he never saw Fine abusing other children.
"It was always one-on-one," he said.
He said he saw Fine in March of this year.
VanHooser served state prison sentences for burglaries in 1985, 1998, and 2002 before a judge sentenced him to 16 years to life this fall.
Syracuse police interviewed VanHooser last month. 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.