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Prison Guards Face Sexual Abuse Charges in Pennsylvania

Prison Guards Face Sexual Abuse Charges in Pennsylvania

In this March 1, 2001, photo, the Lackawanna County Prison is seen in Scranton, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/The Scranton Times, Johnson Bachman)

Friday, 16 February 2018 12:05 PM

Seven prison guards face sexual abuse charges in Pennsylvania, where they were arrested Wednesday following a grad jury investigation.

Lackawanna (lak-ah-WAH'-nah) County spokesman Joseph D'Arienzo said Thursday officials have "worked diligently over the years" to ensure inmate safety. He says any abuse took place years ago.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says a "persistent culture of abuse" has plagued the Lackawanna County Prison for more than a decade.

Six current guards and one former guard were arrested. They face charges including institutional sexual assault.

Shapiro says the abuse was widely known within the prison. An investigation is ongoing.

He said Thursday that current and former guards at Lackawanna County Prison abused their positions of power to coerce sex from female inmates. He says the abuse went back many years. Officials say many of the victims hesitated to come forward because they feared retaliation.

Bernie Brown, a lawyer for three of the defendants, tells the (Scranton) Times-Tribune the charges were "trumped up" by plaintiffs who are suing the prison.

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Officials in a Pennsylvania county insist their prison is safe despite an inmate sexual abuse scandal that's resulted in criminal charges against seven guards.
prison, guards, sexual, abuse
Friday, 16 February 2018 12:05 PM
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