Over the course of nine years, former ball boy Bobby Davis told his story of sexual abuse at the hands of Syracuse assistant basketball...

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Over the course of nine years, former ball boy Bobby Davis told his story of sexual abuse at the hands of Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine to the police, the college, the local newspaper and a national TV network. Each time, either he was too late or his story couldn’t be proved.

When he went public again last month, he was maligned by Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim as an opportunist and a liar.

On Wednesday, a top law-enforcement official became the first to say publicly he believed Davis was a victim and Fine had abused him.

At his news conference to explain that the statute of limitations would keep him from conducting an investigation, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick addressed Davis directly.

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“Bobby, I’m sorry it took so long,” he said. “I wish I had met you as a prosecutor in 2002. Even more importantly, I wish I had met you as a prosecutor back in the 1980s. We wouldn’t be here today.”

Davis, his stepbrother Michael Lang and a third man, Zach Tomaselli, of Lewiston, Maine, say Fine preyed on them when they were boys.

The statute of limitations expired five years after Davis and Lang say they were molested. Fitzpatrick said school and travel records may undercut Tomaselli’s account that Fine molested him in a Pittsburgh hotel room in 2002.