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Paul A. Harris Jr., 18, a Niagara Falls High School basketball standout charged with assaulting his girlfriend Sept. 23, told a city judge Tuesday that he is doing his school work, attending classes and following the rules, said a prosecutor involved in the case.

Harris, a junior, was arrested after a fight at his Michigan Avenue home, where his 23-year-old girlfriend told officers he became angry and began pushing, punching and throwing items, Officer Anthony Catalano said in a police report.

Harris, who was 17 at the time of his arrest, was charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor punishable with up to a year in jail, and a less serious harassment charge.

The purpose of the court appearance was for City Judge Anthony M. Restaino to check the status of Harris' involvement in a program for youths who show signs of violence at school, at home or in the community.

A benefit of joining the program is that many of its successful graduates see a lesser charge in the end, said Assistant District Attorney Susan Howard, who is prosecuting the case.

Coaches have cleared Harris to practice this season based on his good academic standing.

He is set to appear in City Court Nov. 23 for another hearing, and a trial has been scheduled for Jan. 28.

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