By Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The state Superior Court has upheld three life sentences a central Pennsylvania judge gave an inmate who raped a clerk at the state prison in Rockview.

Thirty-eight-year-old Omar Best, of Philadelphia, pretended for days to be on a work detail so he could target the victim when she was alone.

The state Department of Corrections last year paid $3.3 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the clerk, who alleged various security breakdowns led to the July 2013 attack.

Prosecutors say Best choked the woman to the point of unconsciousness before raping her in an office near inmate cells. She blew an emergency whistle, but it was nearly a half-hour before she was rescued.

Best, who had a 2012 rape conviction, is now at the state prison in Huntingdon.

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