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January 31, 2013

Fired prison guard convicted of 27 counts

PITTSBURGH — A fired Pittsburgh state prison guard accused of assaulting inmates has been convicted on 27 counts, but he was acquitted of dozens of others – including allegations that he sexually assaulted them.

Sixty-one-year-old Harry Nicoletti was charged by Allegheny County prosecutors with targeting convicted child molesters and gay inmates at the century-old lockup.

A jury on Thursday convicted him of 27 of 80 counts, including assault, official oppression and criminal solicitation. He was acquitted of the other counts, including charges that he sexually assaulted inmates.

He remains free on bond and sentencing is scheduled for March 27.

Nicoletti’s defense had argued the allegations were false or, at best, exaggerations fueled by the inmate rumor mill at the century-old prison formerly known as Western Pen, and the larger Department of Corrections system of prisons.

 

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