PITTSBURGH (AP) – A jury is set to hear legal instructions from a judge before they begin deliberating the fate of a fired Pittsburgh state prison guard charged with physically and sexually abusing inmates because they were gay or convicted child molesters.

Sixty-one-year-old Harry Nicoletti is charged with 80 counts, including several each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and institutional sexual assault. He faces decades in prison if convicted only of a fraction of those crimes.

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Nicoletti and his attorney have argued the charges are false or, at best, exaggerated and based upon lies or rumors spread through the state’s prison system.

Allegheny County prosecutors say the alleged victims, and other inmate witnesses, agree on too many details for the claims to be false.

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The jury heard 11 days of testimony before hearing closing arguments on Thursday.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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