- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) - An inmate serving a rape conviction was set to stand trial on charges he raped and choked a female prison clerk in her office at a central Pennsylvania prison.

The inmate, 36-year-old Omar Best, of Philadelphia, has been transferred to another prison since the July 25 attack at the State Correctional institution-Rockview in Centre County.

Superintendent Marirosa Lamas was replaced after investigators determined it took 27 minutes for help to arrive after the 24-year-old clerk typist sounded an emergency whistle.

The alleged victim had previously complained about Best’s behavior, but was nonetheless left alone with him the day of the attack.

The incident has prompted changes in security procedures at prisons statewide.



Best’s long rap sheet includes a 2012 rape conviction and a 1996 attempted rape charge reduced to indecent assault.

The trial opens Tuesday.

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