LEWISTON — Zachary Ryan Tomaselli was back in jail this week, charged with violating probation by smoking crack, burglarizing a home and possessing more than half a dozen firearms, police said.

According to court documents, Tomaselli claimed that another man had forced him to smoke crack and to commit burglaries.

Tomaselli, 30, was arrested at his 425 College St. home Tuesday and charged with violating probation.

In 2011, Tomaselli gained international notoriety when he accused a former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach of sexual abuse. Tomaselli was discredited when evidence surfaced disproving those allegations, but he later filed a suit against Syracuse University coach Bernie Fine. Tomaselli later dropped the suit.

He was in the news again when it was revealed that he had been indicted by an Androscoggin County grand jury on 11 counts of sex crimes stemming from his abuse of a 13-year-old boy he met while working as a camp counselor.

Tomaselli was ordered to serve three years in prison after pleading guilty to two felonies: gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact.


After he served his sentence, Tomaselli was placed on probation and has been charged several times with violating it, for crimes ranging from smoking crack, having contact with minors and failure to complete sex-offender treatment.

On Tuesday, while Auburn police detectives were investigating a burglary on Woodbury Road, a probation officer got a strange phone call.

According to court documents, probation officer Jason Taylor received a call from Tomaselli, “who sounded very upset and in a panicked state.”

Tomaselli reported to the officer that he had been kidnapped by 26-year old Paul Farrell, an Auburn man who had held him at gunpoint and ordered him to “assist in burglaries and drug use.”

Lewiston police were called and a short time later, Detective Cory Jacques reported that he was at Tomaselli’s home where he had found firearms in Tomaselli’s vehicle — firearms that had been taken in the Woodbury Road burglary.

When Taylor went to 425 College St. to meet with Auburn and Lewiston police detectives, seven firearms, along with ammunition, were laid out on a mat next to Tomaselli’s vehicle. They included air rifles, a Ruger 10/22 rifle and a 20-gauge shotgun.


Tomaselli was interviewed by Auburn police. According to court documents, he told police that Farrell had kidnapped him over the course of a week — he stayed with his kidnapper, Tomaselli told police, because he was afraid the man would report him for having used cocaine.

According to court documents, police believe Tomaselli invented the story because he was due to report to his probation officer the following day.

While investigating, police tested Tomaselli’s urine, according to an affidavit. It tested positive for cocaine.

Tomaselli was taken to the Androscoggin County Jail where he has remained without bail.

Also arrested was Farrell, of 25 Center St. in Auburn, who was charged with violating probation.

According to court documents, when police searched the Lewiston home of Farrell’s brother — where Farrell had been staying — they found a handgun magazine, marijuana plants, a television and other items that had been stolen in the Auburn burglary.

The case against both men, as well as the home burglary on Woodbury Road, remained under investigation. The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency had joined the probe.

Paul FarrellZachary Tomaselli

Zachary Tomaselli in a Sun Journal file photo

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