Jury clears former prison guard of sexually abusing inmate

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania jury has cleared a former prison guard of sexually abusing a female inmate.

George McHale was among seven former guards at Lackawanna County Prison to be charged after a grand jury found what it described as a culture of sexual coercion and cover-up at the jail in Scranton. He was the first to go to trial.

The (Scranton) Times-Tribune reports that jurors deliberated for about two hours Thursday before finding McHale not guilty of coercing an inmate to perform a sex act on his while he stood outside her cell in 2009.

McHale testified in his own defense and denied the accusation. His attorney called the accuser a “nine-time convicted liar” and told jurors the case was about “the theft of a good man’s reputation.”

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