Ex-guard to testify in prison abuse case

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Former prison officer Harry F. Nicoletti Jr. is likely to testify late Tuesday or Wednesday in the trial against him, his attorney said on Friday, as the prosecution rested its case.

Mr. Nicoletti, 61, of Coraopolis, was fired from his job as a corrections officer at the State Correctional Institution Pittsburgh after inmates accused him of a wide variety of abuses in 2009 and 2010.

Over two weeks, 20 former inmates of SCI Pittsburgh's F Block testified that they were abused by Mr. Nicoletti, their accusations ranging from name-calling to rape. Other inmates and one former corrections officer backed parts of the accusers' testimony.

Mr. Nicoletti's attorney, Steve Colafella, questioned the accuracy and motives of the witnesses, letting jurors know that some of them were seeking monetary damages for alleged abuses on F Block. Others changed their stories over time, he showed.

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