Six inmates who served time in a Southern California jail are seeking $150 million each in a lawsuit, alleging deputies beat and tortured them in a lockup last year, according to a federal lawsuit filed this week.
The plaintiffs allege they were subjected to electric shocks to their genitalia, were deprived of sleep, had shotguns placed to their heads and were sodomized.
The inmates said in court documents that they were handcuffed with their arms behind their backs, causing extraordinary pain while they were jailed at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga between Jan. 1, 2013, and March of this year, the lawsuit said.
"The conduct of the defendants was willful, malicious, sadistic and designed to inflict pain and suffering upon the plaintiffs," court documents said.
They are seeking millions of dollars. Named in the lawsuit are San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon, Jeff Rose, the commander of the West Valley Detention Center, and Deputy B. Teychea.
Jodi Miller, a Sheriff's spokeswoman, said the county will respond in court once officials have been served with the lawsuit.
"The department and the FBI are in full cooperation in order to ensure a comprehensive investigation is completed," she said.
In April, the FBI launched its own investigation into alleged civil rights abuses at the jail, officials said.
McMahon said in a statement at the time that members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff received information about possible misconduct by department personnel at the West Valley Detention Center and launched an investigation.
"As department officials delved into the issue deeper, they learned of a similar inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation," the Sheriff said.
He said the allegations are being taken seriously.
"I will not tolerate any misconduct by department personnel," he said.