SAN DIEGO - Some wild claims have surfaced about sexual assaults inside the Miramar Brig at MCAS Miramar from a male inmate against female guards and a counselor.
Sources confirm the Navy has opened an investigation.
The Miramar Brig is home for some 400 inmates – men and women. According to a former inmate, it also houses a sex problem.
"The environment at the Miramar Brig shocks the conscience," said attorney John Hafemann.
Hafemann's client is 27-year-old Shane Bardes, a discharged Marine in the third year of five-year sentence for raping two women.
Two of those years were served in the Miramar Brig.
"It's not safe to be incarcerated there," said Hafemann.
According to a 16-page statement from Bardes, he was "sexually assaulted, embarrassed ... and humiliated by the prison staff ... charged with my rehabilitation."
In 2012, he says he told a female Marine guard, "F*** you."
Her response was, "Ok. Where?"
Bardes claims there were 10 sexual encounters with her in places without cameras, including a sally port and storage room. He says she also gave him pictures of her in a black thong.
Bardes also alleges sexual encounters with a work supervisor, a female sailor, once in a closet, and a relationship with a counselor from USC.
Bardes says he agreed to some of the encounters and not to others.
Federal law criminalizes any sexual contact between prison staff and inmates.
"It does so because it recognizes the incredible imbalance of power in the relationship," said Hafemann.
10News reporter Michael Chen asked, "He's a convicted rapist. Why should believe anything he has to say?"
Hafemann answered, "Shane's allegations are supported by the investigation, which is nearing completion."
Hafemann says he has talked to investigators. Sources confirm the probe is underway.
In May, a federal report determined the staff sexual misconduct at the Miramar Brig is twice that of prisons nationwide.
Hafemann blames of a lack of supervision.
Hafemann says the Navy dismissed Bardes' initial complaints and closed the investigation because they deemed the sexual contact consensual, only to re-open it when pressured because any sexual contact is illegal.
Hafemann says in the interim, Bardes was assaulted four more times.
Bardes was eventually transferred to a South Carolina brig, and Hafemann is appealing for an early release based on the alleged assaults.
Navy investigators declined to talk about any charges that may be coming.
"What I can say is that NCIS is investigating allegations made by an individual who was in confinement at the Miramar Brig, of unwanted and inappropriate sexual conduct. The investigation is ongoing and, to date, no charges have been filed in connection with this case," said Ed Buice, who is with NCIS.
A Navy spokesperson told 10News, "No new policies are being considered regarding staff and prisoner discipline. Current regulations have been deemed appropriate."