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Case 5:12-cv-00836-DEP Document 98-20 Filed 09/30/15 Page 1 of 22

EXHIBIT 17
to the
DECLARATION OF NATHAN E. SIEGEL
IN SUPPORT OF
DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Case 5:12-cv-00836-DEP Document 98-20 Filed 09/30/15 Page 2 of 22

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

Civil Action Number: 5:12-cv-00836(LEK)(DEP)

_____________________________________________________

LAURIE J. FINE,

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Plaintiff,
vs.
ESPN, INC., MARK SCHWARZ and ARTHUR BERKO,

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Defendants.
_____________________________________________________

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VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITION OF DOUGLAS H. ASTRALAGA

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AUGUST 28, 2014

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12:56 p.m.

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

Civil Action Number: 5:12-cv-00836(LEK)(DEP)

_____________________________________________________

LAURIE J. FINE,

6
7
8

Plaintiff,
vs.
ESPN, INC., MARK SCHWARZ and ARTHUR BERKO,

Defendants.

10

_____________________________________________________

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BEFORE:

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VIRGINIA DENESE BARRETT, Commissioner

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LAW FIRST, by Mr. Lawrence H. Fisher, One

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Oxford Centre, Suite 4300, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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15219, appearing on behalf of the Plaintiff.

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LEVINE, SULLIVAN, KOCH & SCHULZ, LLP, by

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Mr. Nathan Siegel, 1899 L Street, NW, Suite 200,

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Washington, DC

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Defendants.

20036, appearing on behalf of the

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plaintiff.

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3

MR. SIEGEL:

Nathan Siegel for the

defendants.

VIDEOGRAPHER:

Our court reporter, Denese

Barrett, representing Veritext, will now swear in the

witness and we can proceed.

DOUGLAS H. ASTRALAGA

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The witness, having been first duly sworn or


affirmed to speak the truth, the whole truth, and
nothing but the truth, testified as follows:

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COURT REPORTER:

And will we have the usual

stipulations?

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MR. SIEGEL:

Yes.

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MR. FISHER:

Agreed.

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16

EXAMINATION
BY MR. SIEGEL:

17

Q.

Good afternoon.

18

A.

Good afternoon.

19

Q.

Why don't you state your name for the

20

record?

21

A.

Douglas H. Astralaga.

22

Q.

And what city do you live in?

23

A.

Fairhope, Alabama.

24

Q.

And what is your current job?

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A.

Chief division counsel for the FBI in

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Mobile.

Q.

And where were you born?

A.

Columbia, South America.

Q.

And when did you come to the United

States?

A.

I believe it was 1978.

eighth grade, I think.

It was about

Half a year.

Q.

And did you come with a family?

A.

My mother.

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Actually my brother, and then

my mother came a short time thereafter.

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Q.

How many siblings did you have?

12

A.

We are five in total.

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14
15

I have four --

three brothers and a sister.


Q.

And when you came to the United States,

where did you come?

16

A.

Where?

17

Q.

Yeah.

18

A.

Syracuse.

19

Q.

And how long did you live in Syracuse?

20

A.

From -- let's see -- eighth grade through

21

high school.

Obviously, I graduated from Henninger

22

High School.

And on and off through college basically

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Syracuse was my residence.

24

Q.

Where did you live in Syracuse?

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A.

101 Mariposa Street, Syracuse, New York.

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Q.

And where did you go to college?

A.

State University of New Paltz.

Q.

And what post graduate education did you

A.

Juris Doctorate.

Q.

Where did you go to law school?

A.

Thomas Cooley Law School in Michigan.

Q.

And do you have family here in Alabama

have?

with you?

10

A.

My wife and kids, yes.

11

Q.

Do you know who Bernie Fine is?

12

A.

Yes, I do.

13

Q.

And how do you know him?

14

A.

Just growing up in Syracuse and following

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Syracuse basketball.

16

Q.

Have you ever had any interaction with

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Bernie Fine?

18

A.

Yes, I did.

19

Q.

Could you describe that?

20

A.

I really only had one interaction with

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him, and that was at Sunnycrest Park.

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-- I was fifteen years old, going into eleventh grade.

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And we used to do a lot of basketball during the

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summer.

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caliber, pretty good games, and I spent most of my

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I was probably

There was a lot of games that were pretty high

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summer out there that year playing basketball.

times some Syracuse basketball players would be at the

park, at the Sunnycrest Park, and, you know, it was a

big exciting moment for everyone to try to, you know,

complete with those guys.

there once in a while.

7
8

Q.

At

And Bernie Fine would be

And what interaction did you have with

Mr. Fine?

A.

On one particular occasion, it was during

10

a week day.

I remember that.

I don't know what day it

11

was.

12

pretty well.

13

Mr. Fine walked up to me and said that that was pretty

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good, if I was willing to do a workout with him the

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next day.

I was on a team, and we were running the court


And after we finished running the court,

16

Q.

And then what happened?

17

A.

I said, Sure.

Absolutely.

And I came the

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next day about three thirty, as I recall, and we had a

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workout that first day.

20

Q.

And what happened during the workout?

21

A.

Normal workout.

I'm a -- I'm 6'6" and

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change, almost 6'7", so I play a big man position which

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basically means I have the ball and you bounce into the

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man and you turn and put your moves.

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seemed to be going pretty well.

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And everything

And Bernie asked me to

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come back the next day for an additional workout, and I

said, Sure.

that was kind of weird because I felt that he lingered

on his defense a little bit in certain areas that I

didn't feel real comfortable with.

justified it in my mind saying, Well, I'm younger.

He's a bit older.

quick as I am, and that's probably the reason he was

kind of lingering on his defense.

10
11
12

Q.

Absolutely.

But at that point I thought

But I just -- I

He can't move as fast.

He's not as

When you say lingering on his defense,

could you describe exactly what you mean?


A.

Sure.

Normally when you're playing in a

13

position, a guy will come behind you and they're

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pushing off on you.

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They're moving around.

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in and out and you're pushing.

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elbows and so on.

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bit longer than normal for a regular basketball player.

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Q.

They're shoving a little bit.


But it's that, you know, quick
You're using your

He tended to kind of stay a little

Did you feel -- was he touching you when

he was staying on you?


A.

Oh, yeah.

Yeah.

I mean, he's touching my

back, my lower back, sides, things of that nature.


Q.

Okay.

Did you participate in the second

workout with Mr. Fine?


A.

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Yes, sir, I did.


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Q.

What happened?

A.

Same thing basically.

We started playing,

and the second one, it was -- as we progressed through

the workout, it started getting a whole lot more.

There was now -- pretty much he was touching me and

feeling me up to a point where I felt really

uncomfortable.

confronted him and I said, What kind of defense are you

playing on me, in a very rough, street-like way.

And at one point I just immediately

10

Q.

Where was he touching you?

11

A.

My back.

And the thing that did it for me

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was that he came around the back and kind of reached

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forward.

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across the front of my body a little bit.

As I was trying to bounce into him, he came

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Q.

Did he touch any of your private parts?

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A.

He didn't get to touch my private parts.

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He came across the side like this as I pulled away

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inside.

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What kind of B.S. defense are you playing on me.

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Q.

And that's when I confronted him and said,

Did you feel that Mr. Fine was touching

you inappropriately?
A.

Again, as a fifteen-year-old, I felt very

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uncomfortable with the way he was playing me.

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been playing basketball for a while and had never come

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into that kind of a predicament.

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Q.

Where did he touch you?

A.

Oh, he was -- basically when I was moving

back, he had his hands on my buttocks and then he came

across the front.

only one time, while he was touching me around the back

side was continuous and really stayed on, which at that

point I was going, There's something going on here.

Basically he came across my front

Q.

What did you think was going on?

A.

I thought he was feeling me up.

10

Q.

And what exactly did you say to him?

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A.

You want me to -- I can remember still

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what --

13

Q.

Yes.

14

A.

Okay.

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I said, What kind of fucked up

bullshit defense are you playing.

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Q.

And why did you use those words?

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A.

Because I -- as a kid growing up without a

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dad, I knew that you had to be strong whenever you were

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nervous about something and just shock them.

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Q.

And what did Mr. Fine say?

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A.

He was shocked.

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Q.

And did he respond?

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A.

Yeah.

He immediately looked up at me

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bright-eyed and put his hands up and said, No.

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No.

You misunderstand what I'm doing.

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You

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misunderstand what I'm doing.

for a while.

he said, You know, when you finish your tenth grade,

we're going to be looking at you, and, you know, we're

going to be watching you.

at him and I said, Now I know you're full of B.S.

because I'm fifteen but I'm going into eleventh grade.

I grabbed my basketball, and I left the park.

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10

Q.

We've been watching you

You seem to be a pretty good player.

And

And at that point I looked

And did you ever have any contact with

Mr. Fine again?

11

A.

No, I did not.

12

Q.

Why did you leave?

13

A.

Because I felt that this was just one of

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those things that -- I felt very uncomfortable with

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Mr. Fine, and I felt that his approach and what he was

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doing was not normal.

17
18
19

Q.

Did you believe that Mr. Fine was making a

sexual advance on you?


A.

I did at that time.

Let me rephrase that.

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Sexual advance, I don't know that it was a sexual

21

advance.

22
23

Q.

I felt that he was feeling me up.


Okay.

And looking back on it today, do

you still believe that?

24

A.

Yes.

25

Q.

Now, you mentioned that basketball is a

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game where people engage in hand checking and stuff on

defense?

A.

Yeah.

Q.

What was different about this than what

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one might call normal defensive hand checking?


A.

You -- it's an unwritten rule you don't

just linger for no reason.

And there is a physical

aspect of basketball, obviously.

Like I said, I played -- I had played for a long time.

This was not that.

10

I played for the JV team at State University of New

11

Paltz as well.

12

And even as a fifteen-year-old, I knew there was

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something wrong.

14
15

Q.

Been playing basketball my whole life.

At that point in your life, was your

father alive?

16

A.

No, he was not.

17

Q.

When did your father pass away?

18

A.

I was seven years old.

19

Q.

So which members of your family were you

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21
22

living with at that point?


A.

At that point it was just my oldest

brother and my sister and my mother in Syracuse.

23

Q.

And do you have any other brothers?

24

A.

Yes, sir.

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I have two other brothers.

My

middle brother, his name is Ivan, and my youngest

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brother, his name is Andres.

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3

Q.

Andres.

Did any of your brothers ever

attend the Syracuse basketball camp?

A.

Yeah.

My youngest brother, Andres, looks

a lot like me.

Unfortunately, he didn't grow as tall

as I did.

outside shot.

wanted to pursue it more so than most other kids.

he was really serious about it.

But he was a pretty good player, had a great


And one time when I was at home, he
And

Again, he had a great

10

shot.

He was doing really well.

And I was home one

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time, and he came home and said he had been at a

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Syracuse University basketball camp.

13

Q.

And what was -- did you respond to him?

14

A.

Oh, I did.

15

Q.

What did you say?

16

A.

I said, If you ever go back over there,

17

I'm going to beat the crap out of you.

18

Q.

Why did you say that?

19

A.

Because I didn't feel comfortable with him

20

going over there.

21

Q.

Why didn't you feel comfortable?

22

A.

Because of my experience.

23

Q.

With Mr. Fine?

24

A.

That's correct.

25

Q.

And did he ever return?

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A.

Absolutely not.

Even if he wanted, I

would not have allowed it.


Q.

At some point in or around 2011, did you

become aware that there were news reports that ESPN was

broadcasting about Bernie Fine?

6
7
8
9

A.

I can't remember if it was 2011 or 2012,

but I did.
Q.

Did you have any reaction to those

reports?

10

A.

Well, that actually came from my brother,

11

Andres.

12

Q.

And can you tell us about that?

13

A.

He called me and asked me about the reason

14

for our conversation when he was a young kid, and I

15

explained to him the whole thing.

16

clarify the point that when Andrew came to the States,

17

at that point I believe I was a senior in high school

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at that point in time.

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sixth grade.

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sixth.

21

-- my oldest brother was already out of the house, and

22

basically I became the father figure to him

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essentially.

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eye on him.

25

Q.

212-279-9424

Maybe I need to

And he was probably fifth or

I can't remember.

Maybe fourth, fifth or

I can't remember exactly when.

So I basically

So everything he did, I kind of kept an

And just so there's no confusion on the


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record, Andres and Andrew are the same person?

A.

Yes.

Q.

Where did your brother Andres work in or

around 2011?

A.

He was with ESPN.

Q.

Do you know what he did?

A.

Human resources or something.

Q.

So you mentioned that your brother called

Andres and Andrew.

you about it?

10

A.

Yeah.

11

Q.

And what did you discuss?

12

A.

He said, Hey, do you remember that

13

incident you talked to me about.

14

remember what -- you know, exactly what happened.

15

asked me what it was about, and I explained the whole

16

thing to him.

17

to talk to somebody over here in my office about that.

18

Q.

He said, Wow.

I said, Yeah.

He said, Well, I'm going

And describe any other interaction you had

19

with him or anybody else, any conversations at that

20

point.

21

A.

He

I mean, to me at that point it was just he

22

was inquiring about it, and I was basically done with

23

that particular issue.

24

didn't think there was anything else to it.

25

point -- and I can't remember in detail because I'm

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I mean, that was it for me.

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also the media coordinator here in this field office.

On or about that same time, we had issues with Auburn

University where there was a big shooting incident.

I had media outlets reaching out to me to try to see

what kind of information they could obtain from the FBI

as it related to that particular investigation.

the media outlets was ESPN as well.

remember, you know, exactly when it was.

did reach out to me at some point about the Bernie Fine

10

One of

So I can't
But somebody

issue.

11
12

So

Q.

And did you have a -- do you recall what

they said?

13

A.

No, I do not.

Probably something to the

14

effect of, you know, I know your brother Andrew.

15

explained it to us or something like that.

16

have any particular recollection of it.

17

He

But I don't

Q.

Okay.

19

A.

I don't recall.

20

Q.

Okay.

21

A.

I think at some point they wanted to run a

18

Did you ever go on the record with

ESPN?
I don't think so.

Why?

22

story, and basically we had -- any time an FBI agent is

23

going to talk to the media, they're not allowed to.

24

You've got to actually get clearance from either the

25

division point of contact for media matters or you

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reach back to headquarters through our Office of Public

Affairs and speak to them about it.

to them to say, Hey, this is what's going on.

said, Well, it's got nothing to do with the FBI or

anything like that, and there's no need for you to talk

to them.

Q.

Okay.

So I reached out
And they

So is it fair to say that your

superiors preferred that you not go on the record about

this to the media?

10

A.

Yeah.

And basically they asked my opinion

11

as to, you know, the basis for this conversation, and I

12

provided them the input that I felt that it was

13

unnecessary for me to get involved in anything related

14

to that at this point in time.

15
16

MR. SIEGEL:

MR. FISHER:

18

20
21

I have no further

questions but reserve the right to redirect.

17

19

Okay.

Sure.

I have a few questions.

EXAMINATION
BY MR. FISHER:
Q.

You mentioned that you grew up in Syracuse

on Mariposa Street?

22

A.

Yeah.

23

Q.

Do you recall the proximity of Mariposa

24
25

Street to Wilson Street?


A.

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I know it was very near there.


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I can't.

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That's it.
Q.

My wife, obviously.

Yes.

You mentioned earlier that you -- that you

did not want to give an interview in this case to --

A.

Correct.

Q.

-- ESPN; is that correct?

A.

(Witness nodding head in the affirmative.)

Q.

And why did you not want to give an

8
9

interview to ESPN?
A.

Because I didn't want it to go out that

10

here's an FBI agent and, you know, this is an

11

individual.

12

from a fifteen-year-old kid, and that's as far as it

13

needs to go.

14

Q.

You know, the facts to me are the facts

Do you believe that the facts that you

15

possessed as a fifteen-year-old kid support an

16

allegation that Bernie Fine is a pedophile?

17

A.

Support an allegation that he's a

18

pedophile.

That's a pretty high standard.

Support the

19

allegations that he's a pedophile.

20

answer that.

21

being a pedophile versus somebody that's acting in an

22

improper way to me are quite different.

I really can't

It's a -- the legal ramifications of

23

Q.

So you see a big distinction between that?

24

A.

Sure.

25

Q.

And so in this case, you're only willing

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to go so far as you say you think he acted in an

improper way?

A.

I thought he acted in a fashion with a

fifteen-year-old that was extremely improper.

correct.

6
7

Q.

That's

But he did deny any improper intent when

you confronted him, correct?

A.

Yeah.

Q.

Did you speak to your brother about the

10

Oh, yeah.

He did.

fact that you were going to give this deposition --

11

A.

Sure.

12

Q.

-- today?

13

A.

Sure.

14

Q.

Have you communicated with him in writing

15

about that?

16

A.

No.

17

Q.

What was the nature of your conversation

18
19
20

with your brother about today's deposition?


A.

Hey.

Guess what?

I'm going to be deposed

on this thing.

21

Q.

And what did he have to say?

22

A.

Oh, really.

23
24
25

That was basically it.

said, Yeah.
Q.

Okay.

Do you have any reason to believe

that this has a bearing on his -- on his work?

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A.

Oh, God yeah.


MR. FISHER:

3
4

That's all the questions I have.


EXAMINATION

BY MR. SIEGEL:

Q.

Just a couple.

A.

Sure.

Q.

This -- the two workouts that you

described with Mr. Fine, were those one on one?

A.

Yes, they were.

10

Q.

Okay.

11

A.

Yes.

12

Q.

Was there anybody else on the basketball

13

So it was just you and Mr. Fine?

court?

14

A.

Not a soul.

15

Q.

To your knowledge, was there anyone else

16
17

watching?
A.

Not -- basically at Sunnycrest Park things

18

wouldn't start moving until after everybody got out of

19

work, and that's when it really got really good

20

basketball is when everybody showed up.

21

that, it was pretty much empty.

22

Q.

But prior to

In response to Mr. Fisher's question about

23

pedophilia, you mentioned that it's a pretty high sort

24

of legal standard?

25

A.

212-279-9424

Sure.
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Case 5:12-cv-00836-DEP Document 98-20 Filed 09/30/15 Page 21 of 22

Page 36
1

Q.

What did you mean by that?

A.

Well, I mean, there are certain advances

and actions in order to be a pedophile.

there's -- that I don't have any of those facts in

front of me as it relates to whether or not he is or

not.

fifteen-year-old kid and the perception I now have

sitting here as far as what he did.

I mean,

What I can tell you is the perception I had as a

Q.

Using I guess more laymen's terms, would

10

your experience with Mr. Fine in your view support the

11

contention that he was someone who engaged in

12

inappropriate sexual advances on teenage boys at that

13

time frame in the 1980's?

14

A.

As far as sexual, what I could tell you is

15

that it was to the point where I was uncomfortable

16

enough to very quickly leave, never to come in contact

17

with him ever again, making sure that that never ever

18

happened under any circumstance, whether I was going to

19

a basketball game to the point where I sternly warned

20

my brother to stay away from there.

21

Q.

And where does your brother work today?

22

A.

The NFL.

23

Q.

So he's not currently working with ESPN?

24

A.

No.

25

MR. SIEGEL:

212-279-9424

That's all I have.

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Case 5:12-cv-00836-DEP Document 98-20 Filed 09/30/15 Page 22 of 22

Page 38
1

CERTIFICATE

2
3

STATE OF ALABAMA

ELMORE COUNTY

I hereby certify that the above and foregoing

deposition was taken down by me in stenotype and the

questions and answers thereto were transcribed by means

of computer-aided transcription, and that the foregoing

represents a true and correct transcript of the

10

testimony given by said witness upon said hearing.

11

I further certify that I am neither of

12

counsel, nor of kin to the parties to the action, nor

13

am I in anywise interested in the result of said cause.

14
15
16

Virginia Denese Barrett, CCR

17

CCR #458, Expires 9/30/2015

18

Commissioner for the

19

State of Alabama at Large

20

My Commission Expires:

9/16/2015

21
22
23
24
25

212-279-9424

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