Alleged Syracuse Sex Abuse Victim Pleads Guilty to Sexually Abusing a Child

zach tomaselliZachary Tomaselli, one of the men who accused Syracuse University coach Bernie Fine of sexually molesting him, has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a teenage boy. You read that right: One of Bernie Fine's alleged victims went on to abuse another teen himself. It makes me heartsick to see the cycle of abuse so blatantly at play.

There's an eerie connection between the two cases. Fine allegedly molested Tomaselli when he was 13 years old, and Tomaselli's victim was also 13 when he was first assaulted. It's mind-blowing that a victim would go on to become a perpetrator -- of the same crime. And yet, it happens all the time. The abused becomes the abuser. But maybe in Tomaselli's case, it ends here.


First of all, Tomaselli told CNN, "I take complete responsibility for what I did." He's not dragging the case out with denials. And he's not trying to bury his abuse. He's accepting the burden of his crime. Meanwhile, Fine has said the accusations against him are "patently false." But three victims have named him as their abuser.

Hopefully, Tomaselli's victim will find some closure. That his molester acknowledged his wrongdoing and is willing to pay for his crime must be healing for the victim. And if Tomaselli's victim can find healing and closure, he is more likely to break this chain of abuse.

I can't help wondering, now, if there's an abuser in Fine's past, too. Was he once a victim himself? Did he feel like he had to stay silent? Did those unhealed wounds lead him to abuse three other teens? Fine still has to answer the charges in court, so we don't know yet. As more details come out, the story gets darker and stranger. But at least in this case, there is hope that two victims are putting an end to a dismal legacy.

Are you hoping the cycle of abuse will end with Tomaselli pleading guilty?


Image via CNN

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