PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Six former and current state prison guards turned themselves in on charges resulting from an abuse investigation at the State Correctional Institution-Pittsburgh.
All of the inmates are currently serving time on sex crimes themselves.
“Judging the credibility of these alleged victims, we look forward to having our day in court and presenting defense,” Casey White, a defense attorney, said.
The six corrections officers showed up in court Tuesday for arraignment. They include officers Tory Kelly, Kevin Friess, Brian Olinger, Bruce Lowther, Sean Storey and Jerome Lynch.
They’re charged with mostly misdemeanor counts including official oppression, simple assault, conspiracy, intimidation of witnesses, criminal solicitation, terroristic threats and stalking.
In the criminal complaint, eyewitnesses allege guards also contaminated their food and put an inmate’s head in the toilet.
“I believe that the eyewitness allegations are a little spotty and I look forward to cross examining those witnesses at trial,” Mark Fiorilli, a defense attorney said.
“The difficulty is when you’re working inside with institutions such as a prison, the only witnesses you’re going to have are the people making the allegations,” David Cercone, a defense attorney, said.
Two months ago, Harry Nicoletti, 60, faces nearly 92 counts of sexual assault and threats for alleged attacks on more than 20 inmates.
None of the charged officers were released on their own recognizance. Instead, bond was sent anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 depending on the number of counts they face.