Prosecution Rests At Lackawanna County Prison Guard’s Trial

February 6, 2019 GMT

SCRANTON — Prosecutors rested their case against a former Lackawanna County Prison guard accused of sexually abusing an inmate in 2009. The state attorney’s general office, which is prosecuting George T. McHale, 51, 513 Florin St., Scranton, called its final witnesses at his Lackawanna County Court trial this morning. The defense will begin presenting its case this afternoon at the federal courthouse, where county Judge Julia Munley is presiding over the proceedings. McHale, who is accused of forcing a female inmate to masturbate him, is charged with one count of institutional sexual assault and two counts of indecent assault. The Times-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual assault. The defendant is among seven former guards arrested last February after a statewide grand jury investigation. His case is the first to go to trial. The victim, who testified Tuesday, told jurors the assault happened between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve in 2009, when she was housed in the jail’s restricted housing unit. Much of the testimony this morning dealt with access to the restricted housing unit and how individuals were logged in and out of the unit. Although prosecutors agreed to stipulate McHale’s name does not appear in the unit’s log book during the period when the woman was housed there, guard Paula Bondy testified it was not a requirement at the time that everyone who entered the unit be logged in. Under cross-examination by defense attorney Joseph Toczydlowski, Bondy said she never saw McHale on the unit. The victim also never reported to her that she had been assaulted, Bondy said. Check back for updates. Contact the writer: dsingleton@timesshamrock.com, 570-348-9132