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Providence, R.I. • The lawyer for a Connecticut man charged with an assault on a Brown University basketball player that left him hospitalized with severe head injuries has told a judge it was self-defense.

Tory Lussier of Vernon, Conn., made his initial appearance in Providence District Court on Friday on a felony assault charge. He was released on $10,000 surety bail. He had no comment outside court.

Lussier is accused of assaulting 21-year-old Joseph Sharkey of Norwood, Mass., early Sunday morning near Thayer and George streets following an altercation. Sharkey suffered severe head injuries and is being treated at Rhode Island Hospital.

Lawyer John Lombardi told a judge it was a "clear case of self-defense." He says the 24-year-old Lussier is an active member of the Marine reserves and served in Afghanistan.

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