Tournament Cheaters Receive Sentence

On Thursday, Jacob Runyan of Ashtabula, Ohio, and Chase Cominsky of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, were sentenced to 10 days in jail and 1 1/2 years of probation after pleading guilty in March to cheating and illegal animal ownership charges in a Lake Erie fishing tournament.

 The men had used weights to increase the weight of their catches in the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Tournament last September.

Although the felony charges of attempted grand theft and possessing criminal tools were dropped, both men were ordered to pay a $2,500 fine by Judge Steven Gall of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. The fine could be reduced if the men make a charitable donation to a fishing and children-focused charitable organization.

 The men also had their fishing licenses suspended for up to three years and had to forfeit their $130,000 boat.

“This was the end of a long season where Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky had a curious run of success — such that other officials in that tournament suspected foul play,” Assistant County Prosecutor Andrew Rogalski said.

During his apology to the court and “to everybody,” Runyan called his actions “the most ignorant decision I’ve ever made in my life.”

“There’s seemingly endless public humiliation for these guys,” defense attorney Gregory Gentile said. “These guys are going to have to suffer this forever; when they go on a date, when they find a job. When they get Googled, this case is gonna show up forever.”

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