Jail guard didn’t assault inmate, jury finds

Posted Feb. 23, 2012, at 8:55 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Cumberland County jail guard has been acquitted of charges that he assaulted an inmate.

The jury deliberated for about an hour on Wednesday before finding Nicholas Stein not guilty on the misdemeanor charge.

Stein was accused of dragging and punching inmate Brian Cote last June.

Cote testified Tuesday that he was injured after a jump from the second-floor balcony. He says Stein dragged him 200 feet and punched him in the face instead of summoning medical help as required. Cote says he jumped because he had been denied his medications.

Stein’s lawyer says her client is grateful for the jury’s verdict. She tells The Portland Press Herald that Stein “was just doing the best he could in a bad situation.”

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