Court ruling a victory for all victims of sexual abuse, says lawyer for former SU ball boys

John O'Brien (Syracuse.com)
October 21, 2014

A ruling from the state's highest court to reinstate a slander suit against Syracuse University and basketball coach Jim Boeheim is a victory for all sexual abuse victims, a lawyer handling the suit said today.

"This is a great victory for our clients, Bobby Davis and Michael Lang," lawyer Gloria Allred said today. "This means that our case is reinstated and that our clients can have their day in court."

The ruling from the state Court of Appeals means the stepbrothers will have their lawsuit heard in state Supreme Court in Syracuse. They accused Boeheim of slandering them in 2011 by calling them liars when they accused fired assistant coach Bernie Fine of molesting them as children.

"This is an important day for all victims of child sexual abuse and sends a message to those who call them liars that they act at their peril," Allred said. The ruling means people such as Boeheim "can be sued for defamation and that they cannot hide behind an excuse that they are just giving their opinion."

"It is an important decision because it affords more rights and protections to courageous victims of child sexual abuse who refuse to suffer in silence," Allred said in an email to Syracuse.com.

She credited her co-counsel, Mariann Wang, for the work she did on the case.