SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) - Floyd “David” VanHooser, the fourth person to accuse former SU assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of sexual abuse, now says he lied about the allegations.
He made the admission in two letters, dated November 29th, 2011, that were published on Syracuse.com on Sunday.
VanHooser wrote them in state prison where he is currently serving time for burglarizing multiple homes in the Syracuse area.
Late last year, VanHooser accused Bernie Fine of abusing him as a teenager.
In the letters, VanHooser apologized to Fine, saying:
"Dear Bernie, I am very sorry for what I did to you."
A second note, addressed to “Whom it May Concern” reads:
"None of what I said was true. I made up all of that story about Bernie, because I was mad at him for not getting me a lawyer."
VanHooser was convicted in October for several burglaries and sent to Clinton State Correctional facility. He credits Fine with being a father figure and expected the former coach to help him fight the felony charge.
VanHooser’s story did not add up for Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick when he spoke about the case last month:
"In an effort to completely understand this case there simply is no victim number four. We would have revealed several pieces of correspondence that date back many, many years from this individual which would, to say it charitably, belie his claims of sexual abuse at the hands of Bernie Fine,” said Fitzpatrick.
After the Post-Standard obtained and reported the contents of the letters, Fitzpatrick reiterated his stance in an e-mail to NewsChannel 9.
"I find it extremely troubling that anyone in law enforcement ever took these allegations by VanHooser seriously," said Fitzpatrick.
In explaining his claims to the newspaper, VanHooser said of investigators: "They suggested things and I went along with it."
VanHooser went on to say that he did have a sexual relationship with Fine as an adult.
His letter ends with an offer to testify in court:
"Bernie, I want to say I'm sorry and will do whatever it takes to help clear your name."
Fine has not been charged.
Syracuse Police referred our calls to the US Attorney's Office which does not comment on active cases.