TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Prosecutors drop charges against former prison guard accused of abuse

Daily Photo Galleries

Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 12:14 p.m.
 

The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday dropped all seven charges against a former prison guard accused of harassing and abusing inmates.

Jerome Lynch, 36, of the North Side was scheduled to stand trial on charges of simple assault, official oppression, solicitation and conspiracy. Prosecutors dropped the charges because the two accusers were not credible, said Lynch's attorney Jim Wymard.

“(Assistant District Attorney) Jon Pittman, to his credit, looked upon this and didn't feel he had enough evidence that would merit going forward, and that's what a fair and good prosecutor should do,” Wymard said. “It's about justice and not convictions or winning.”

Pittman couldn't be reached for comment. Mike Manko, spokesman for the District Attorney's Office, said his office felt it would not be possible to sustain its burden of proof against Lynch based on a victim's reluctance to testify and his testimony at former prison guard Tory Kelly's trial.

The state fired Lynch from the prison in Woods Run in April 2011 and authorities charged him in November 2011. He filed a federal lawsuit last month claiming the state Department of Corrections violated his civil rights.

He was among seven guards accused of harassing and abusing inmates who were in prison for sex crimes against children.

A jury last week convicted former guard Harry Nicoletti, 61, of Coraopolis on 27 of 80 counts that he abused inmates. The jury cleared him of more serious sex charges. In December, a jury found Kelly, 41, of Aliquippa guilty of threatening and assaulting an inmate. Two other guards are awaiting trial. Charges against the others were dropped or dismissed.

The charges spurred personnel changes at the prison, with the state removing Superintendent Melvin Lockett and two deputy superintendents.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Wedding aboard Pittsburgh’s Gateway Clipper ends in arrests
  2. Carnegie Mellon University picks architect for business school
  3. Nearing 25 years together, WPXI anchors Johnson, Finnegan defy odds
  4. Housing market remains ‘disaster’ in Westmoreland County
  5. Unlike years past, strength of 2014 Steelers could be offense
  6. Campus visit sells 4-star Ohio recruit Hall on Panthers
  7. Steelers Lookahead: Previewing Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland
  8. Boston College football coach Addazio can’t get enough of the game
  9. Harrison rejects criticism of disorderly conduct ordinance
  10. Western Pa. districts aim to win back students from cyber charters
  11. Revenue from special Pennsylvania Monuments license plates to help maintain monuments at Gettysburg
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.