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Thursday, September 6
 
Almonte enrolls in Bronx's Public School 52

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The 1.1 million children heading back to school this week included overage Little Leaguer Danny Almonte, who is attending eighth-grade bilingual classes at Public School 52 in the Bronx.

Danny, whose Rolando Paulino team was banned from Little League after officials in the Dominican Republic ruled that he was 14, showed up at school as promised on Thursday, said Board of Education spokeswoman Catie Marshall.

It was Danny's first day at an American school -- although team officials originally said he attended school in the Bronx last year.

On Tuesday, officials in the Dominican Republic charged Danny's father with falsifying a birth certificate to make his son appear to be 12 when he actually was 14 and thus too old for Little League.

Felipe de Jesus Almonte "will be arrested as soon as he sets foot in this country," said Victor Romero, a public records official in the Dominican Republic. The father is still in New York and faces three to five years in jail if convicted.

Also on Tuesday, school officials said Almonte had been finishing seventh grade in the Dominican Republic until June 15 -- another reason he should not have qualified for Little League championships.

The New York team was stripped of its third-place finish in the World Series after Almonte's actual age was revealed last week. Little League also voided all of Almonte's records, including a perfect game.

In an interview with The New York Times, Danny's stepmother, Marisol Maria Inoa Sanchez de Almonte, begged the Dominican and U.S. government's forgiveness on behalf of her husband.

"We had to commit this little fraud to give this opportunity to this child," Inoa Sanchez said in a story in Thursday's Times.





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