PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A former prison guard accused of abusing inmates at SCI Pittsburgh was found guilty Thursday morning on 27 counts he faced in an inmate abuse trial.
Harry Nicoletti, 61, faced 80 counts related to the alleged physical and sexual abuse of inmates based on their crimes and sexual orientation.
He was found guilty 27 counts, including official oppression, simple assault and criminal solicitation.
“This is no reflection on the hardworking corrections officers that we have in our state system. This was an isolated incident and any profession can have an employee that commits crimes. And when that person works at the Department of Corrections, they use every resource available to remedy the situation,” prosecutor Jon Pittman said.
He was found not guilty of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charges because the jury rejected those allegations.
“I interpret that verdict that they believed there was obviously some singling out of certain offenders and there was some mistreatment of those individuals. Certainly, our theory throughout the case, is that the allegations – at least in this unit of the investigation – spun out of control and developed into more grandiose allegations of a sexual nature, which the jury clearly rejected,” defense attorney Steve Colafella said.
Nicoletti could face a minimum of 18 months in jail on a the lone felony count of solicitation to commit aggravated harassment.
Nicoletti was allowed to remain free on bond until sentencing on March 27.
According to the criminal complaint, Nicoletti allegedly sexually assaulted a number of inmates after identifying them as convicted sex offenders.