Appeals Court Rejects Coach's Appeal In Bean Case

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- The Pennsylvania Superior Court has rejected the appeal of a former youth baseball coach convicted of offering a player $25 to bean a 9-year-old autistic teammate.

The court didn't consider arguments on behalf of 31-year-old Mark Downs Jr. of Dunbar, saying his attorney missed a filing deadline by two weeks.

Downs has been sentenced to one-to-six years in prison, but has remained free on bond pending appeal.

Downs was convicted of corruption of minors and simple assault for offering an 8-year-old player money to hit a mildly autistic teammate with a ball during warmups before a June 2005 playoff game.

Prosecutors say Downs wanted the autistic boy to be hurt and unable to play in the game.

It's not clear if Downs will file further appeals.

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