PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The investigation into claims of abuse at SCI Pittsburgh have gotten the attention of the Justice Department.
According to a statement, the Justice Department will be investigating the allegations of prisoner abuse by guards at the facility.
The investigation will be looking into possible violations of amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
“In addition, the department will look into whether SCI Pittsburgh officers systematically targeted prisoners for violence and other abuse based on the prisoners’ race, sexual orientation, gender identity or other status, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” the Justice Department said is a statement.
One former guard, Harry Nicoletti, is facing 92 counts related to the alleged sexual and physical abuse of more than 20 prisoners under his care.
All of the inmates involved in the case are currently serving time on sex crimes themselves.
Last month, six more guards turned themselves in on charges resulting from the abuse investigation.
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.
The Justice Department will also be investigating claims at SCI Cresson.