Rugby player who punched opponent loses appeal

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – An amateur Pennsylvania rugby player has lost an appeal of his assault conviction for punching an opponent in the face.

Forty-five-year-old Christopher Chesonis broke the other player’s eye socket, which required surgery, during a June 2014 tournament in Monroe County. Chesonis had been hit in the face earlier in the match and blamed an opposing player. Police say he punched the other player later in the match even after the man’s teammate had apologized.

Chesonis was ejected from the game and has since been banned from the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union.

Chesonis appealed his conviction on simple assault and other charges and his two- to 12-month jail sentence.

Chesonis says prosecutors failed to prove he acted maliciously instead of reflexively and argued the jail term was excessive.

Chesonis’ attorney declined comment Friday on the Superior Court ruling.

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