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State settles lawsuit by former inmate alleging guard assaulted him

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Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, 6:18 p.m.

The state paid $10,000 to settle a former inmate's lawsuit claiming that two Woods Run prison guards physically assaulted him in 2010, one of his attorneys said Monday.

James Turner, age and address unavailable, claimed that former guards Tory Kelly, 42, of Aliquippa and Harry Nicoletti, 62, of Coraopolis committed the assaults. He sued them, the Department of Corrections and six current and former agency officials.

Both guards were convicted of assaulting inmates and sentenced to probation, but Kelly said in his motion to dismiss the lawsuit that he was not convicted of assaulting Turner. Nicoletti never filed a response to Turner's lawsuit.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan in December 2013 dismissed the lawsuit against everyone but Kelly and Nicoletti.

The Department of Corrections and Turner reached a settlement while he was appealing that decision to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said one of his attorneys, Alexandra Morgan-Kurtz of the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project. After settling with the state, Turner dropped his claims against the two guards, she said.

Both sides filed a joint motion Monday to dismiss the lawsuit.

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