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Corrections Department defends phone policy

Inmate used phone calls to direct abuse of teenager

Associated Press

ST. PAUL — The state Corrections Department is defending its prison telephone policy after an inmate used the phones to choreograph the abuse of a teenage girl.

Joseph T. Soltis made dozens of graphic calls to arrange for pornography sessions involving the developmentally disabled girl, and gave orders while it was happening.

He was recently convicted of aiding and abetting the use of a minor in a sexual performance. He was already serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.

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Corrections officials say they will look for any correlation between call volume and criminal activity, but they defended their phone policy. The policy doesn’t restrict the number of calls an inmate can make.

Assistant Commissioner David Crist says nearly all inmates will one day be released, and they need to maintain contact with spouses, children and other people who will make up their support network.

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