Fayette County (PA) Judge Ralph Warman gave 29 year-old former youth baseball coach, Mark Downs, Jr., from Dunbar, PA 6-to-36 month sentences after being convicted on charges of corruption of minors and criminal solicitation to simple assault. Judge Warman revoked Downs' bond and jailed him. Unless an appeal overturns his conviction, Downs will serve one-to-six years in the hoosegow. According to officials, Downs offered one of his players, 8 year-old Keith Reese, Jr., twenty-five dollars to bean an autistic teammate, 9 year-old Harry Bowers, so that the coach would not have to play Bowers. Reese hit Bowers with a baseball once in the head and once in the groin. According to Bowers' mother, she is finding it difficult to get him to try new activities because he fears getting hurt again. I've know coaches who I think would have done the same thing: however, I don't believe that criminal convictions would have been contemplated at that time. It is heartening to see the government give justice to the weak.
Cf. http://msnbc.msn.com/id/15239517 and Fox News Live (10/12/06).