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Stronger penalties for referee attacks

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Legislation targeting parents who attack referees at their children's athletic events has received final legislative passage in Louisiana's Senate.

The misdemeanor crime of battery of a school or recreation contest official currently carries a fine of up to $500 and a prison sentence of up to six months.

The measure by Rep. Cameron Henry would raise the possible consequences for a conviction to a fine of at least $1,000 and up to $5,000.

It carries a minimum of five days in jail. If the referee receives a "serious bodily injury," the prison sentence would be at least 10 days.

Conviction also would require anger management classes or some other type of court-ordered counseling.

Monday's vote in the Senate adopted a final version of the bill from a House-Senate compromise panel.

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