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31 Witnesses Set To Testify During Hearing For Suspended Prison Guard

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A preliminary hearing got underway today for the suspended State Correctional Institution-Pittsburgh prison guard who is facing more than 90 counts in connection with the alleged sexual and physical abuse of inmates.

The hearing for Harry Nicoletti could last up to three days with 31 witnesses scheduled to testify, many of them still incarcerated.

Allegheny County Assistant District Attorney John Pittman filed two additional charges, bringing the total against Nicoletti to 94 counts. More could be added later.

A former inmate, who is now out on parole, was one of the witnesses who testified during today's hearing. He said he was an inmate worker in the area where Nicoletti was assigned.

According to the former inmate's testimony, one prisoner was forced to strip while Nicoletti allegedly poked him with a broom stick.

Earlier this month, the Justice Department announced that they will be investigating the allegations of prisoner abuse at the SCI Pittsburgh facility.

The investigation will be looking into possible violations of amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Last month, six guards turned themselves in on charges resulting from the abuse investigation.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.

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