All counts dropped in case of ex-SCI Pittsburgh guard
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All seven criminal counts against a former State Correctional Institution Pittsburgh guard were dropped this morning.
Jerome J. Lynch, 36, of the North Side, was facing trial today on charges of simple assault, official oppression, criminal solicitation and conspiracy.
He has been fired and has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Department of Corrections violated his civil rights.
Assistant District Attorney Jon Pittman said a key witness had proved reluctant to testify.
Defense attorney James Wymard, representing Mr. Lynch, said the accusations boiled down to "a pat on the head" of one inmate and some stolen underwear, and both accusers faced severe credibility challenges.
Mr. Lynch, by contrast, was a former Marine with an honorable discharge and a clean record.
Mr. Lynch, who was suspended from his job 22 months ago and then fired, said he aims to return to work in the prison.
Mr. Lynch was among seven officers charged with alleged abuse of prisoners who were perceived as pedophiles who were housed on F Block. So far two have been convicted and face March sentencings, charges against four have been dropped or dismissed, and one faces trial in March.
First Published February 5, 2013 10:43 am