AUBURN — A Lewiston sex offender and false accuser of a Syracuse basketball coach is back in prison after admitting in court Tuesday that he used cocaine in June.

Zachary Tomaselli, 30, appeared in Androscoggin County Superior Court, admitting he violated terms of his probation. He was sentenced to nine months and one day in prison.

Tomaselli, who resides at 425 College St., was charged with four counts of breaking probation rules, including burglarizing an Auburn home and being a felon with guns and ammunition. Those charges were withdrawn Tuesday but could be brought back pending further investigation.

In June, Tomaselli reportedly called his probation officer sounding “very upset and in a panicked state,” according to court documents. He said he’d been kidnapped by 26-year-old Auburn man who had held him at gunpoint, “choked (him) out” and ordered him to “assist in burglaries and drug use.”

Lewiston police responded to the probation officer’s report and found seven guns in Tomaselli’s vehicle — five air rifles, a Ruger 10/22 rifle and a 20-gauge shotgun along with ammunition — that were traced back to a Woodbury Road burglary.

Tomaselli told Auburn police that he’d been kidnapped over the course of a week, staying with his kidnapper, because he was afraid the man would report him for having used cocaine.

Police wrote in court documents they believed Tomaselli invented the story because he was due to report to his probation officer the next day. His urine tested positive for cocaine.

In 2011, Tomaselli was sentenced to serve three years and three months of a 12-year sentence for gross sexual assault, followed by six years of probation. He lured a young boy into a relationship that started in 2009 when he worked at a day camp as an assistant soccer coach. He and the boy, who was younger than 14, began spending time together, prosecutors said.

Tomaselli encouraged the boy to sneak out of his home and meet him to play and hang out. They would meet at the parking lot of a church near Tomaselli’s home. At one point, the two engaged in sexual intercourse, prosecutors said.

Tomaselli was nationally recognized as the third accuser of former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine. Tomaselli claimed he was a victim of sexual abuse when he was 13. He claimed Fine invited him to accompany the team to a game in Pittsburgh and later molested him in a hotel room in 2002. Fine was later fired by Syracuse.

Tomaselli’s story was debunked and he later dropped a lawsuit against Fine.

Tomaselli’s probation has been partially revoked and he has returned to prison several times for violations since his 2011 conviction. 

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Zachary Tomaselli (Androscoggin County Jail photo)


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