By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 05/07/14, 9:06 PM PDT |

A federal lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Riverside and alleges San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies brutalized inmates at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, shocking them with stun guns without provocation, placing shotguns to their heads and subjecting them to other acts of torture including sodomy.

The lawsuit names Sheriff John McMahon, West Valley Detention Center Capt. Jeff Rose and eight deputies at the jail as defendants. The lawsuit also names as defendants two civilian employees.

Between Jan. 1, 2013 and March 2014, the plaintiffs were subjected to beatings and acts of torture, including having their arms lifted up behind their backs while handcuffed, electric shock, including electric shock to the genitalia, having shotguns placed to their heads, sodomy and sleep deprivation, according to the lawsuit.

Plaintiffs named in the lawsuit are inmates John Hanson, Lamar Graves, Brandon Schilling, Michael Mesa, Christopher Sly and Eddie Caldera. Their attorney, James Terrell, said Wednesday the plaintiffs were the first group he and Victorville attorney Stanley Hodge filed on, and that he and Hodge represent between 14 and 20 inmates from the jail. Additional lawsuits are coming, he said.

“I believe that the FBI will file charges in the near future and make their investigation public, revealing that the plaintiffs in our cases suffered terrible abuse, under color of authority,” Terrell said.

Terrell and Hodge are asking for a total of $135 million in compensatory and punitive damages, plus attorneys fees and compensation for costs incurred from the lawsuit.

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