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FARRELL Judge finds ex-mayor innocent of harassment



Published: Fri, July 6, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The complaint was filed by the child's father, who doesn't live with the child.

FARRELL, Pa. -- District Justice Henry Russo said the prosecution failed to prove its case in a harassment charge against former Farrell Mayor Eugene C. Pacsi.

Judge Russo found Pacsi, 54, of East Judy Lynn Drive, innocent in a one-hour hearing Thursday. Had he been convicted of the summary charge, he could have been fined up to $300 and ordered to spend up to 90 days in jail.

About the case: The charge was filed by the father of an 11-year-old Little League baseball player who was a member of the team Pacsi was coaching in early May at a ballgame at the Farrell-Wheatland Little League field.

Police said at the time that the boy suffered a red mark on his neck and his mother complained to authorities. Authorities said later that the boy was never grabbed on the neck, nor did his mother complain. It was the child's father, who doesn't live with the child and his mother, who filed the complaint.

The child said at the hearing that Pacsi grabbed him by the arm and didn't hurt him. That scenario was backed by Pacsi, who said he briefly grabbed the boy's arm to get his attention during a team meeting after the game.

The law says merely touching someone doesn't constitute harassment. There must also be an intent to harass, annoy or alarm the person being touched and that wasn't proved in this case, Judge Russo said.

Pacsi has since resigned his coaching position.




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