5th of 7 Pittsburgh prison guards cleared of abuse

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A fired Pittsburgh state prison guard has been acquitted of charges he forced and inmate’s head into a toilet and flushed it.

Thursday’s acquittal of 35-year-old Bruce Lowther, of West Newton, means he’s the fifth of seven guards charged two years ago in a grand jury investigation to have all charges dropped or dismissed against him.

Defense attorney Mark Fiorilli says Lowther is trying to put his life back together and working on getting his job back.

Two fired guards have been convicted of some charges they physically tormented and harassed inmates, mostly gays and child molesters, at the state prison.

Forty-one-year-old Tory Kelly, of Aliquippa, is serving 12 years’ probation while the alleged ringleader, 61-year-old Harry Nicoletti, of Coraopolis, is serving five years’ probation.

A jury rejected dozens of charges that Nicoletti sexually assaulted the inmates, however.

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