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Correction Officer Goes To Trial On Sadism Charges

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The state alleges that over a two-year period Harry Nicoletti sexually and physically assaulted dozens of inmates who are now lined up to testify against him.

"I'd like to see him in prison, where he belongs, and should spend the rest of his life there," said the father of one of the alleged victims. He did not want to be identified.

The nature of alleged assaults are so heinous and sadistic that jurors will have a tough time enduring the trial. Nicoletti is accused of raping and sodomizing inmates.

"Hopefully some justice gets done because there was gross abuse, both sexual, physical, mental," the father added.

The sheer number of counts, 89, presents a formidable challenge to defense attorney Steve Colafella.

"Given the number of counts, on the surface it would appear to be, but our theory of the case is that this was sort of a snowball effect," he said.

Colafella says the evidence is based almost entirely on the testimony of convicted criminals and that he will attack their credibility.

"There's no tangible evidence to support anything that's been claimed. There are no medical record, there's no video. There's nothing to corroborate or substantiate any of those claims other than the testimony itself."

The jury heard Wednesday from the first of the inmates who said after Nicolletti allegedly berated, slapped and sexually assaulted him, he ate only toothpaste for two weeks, fearing his food had been tampered with.

Testimony will continue Thursday in a trial that's excepted to last a month in which jurors will hear dozens of sadistic stories involving Nicolletti and must decide whether or not they are true.

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