SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --Current and former San Francisco sheriff's deputies accused of running a fight club, involving jail inmates, appeared in court Monday.
Former San Francisco Sheriff's Deputy Scott Neu and current deputy Eugene Jones entered not guilty pleas in connection with
an alleged jail fight club.
RELATED: San Francisco inmates allege deputies forced them into gladiator-style jail fights
According to the statement of probable cause, Neu told the inmates to say they "fell off the bunk" if they got injured.
Neu allegedly forced a 150-pound inmate to fight another inmate more than twice his size.
When asked if Neu was running a fight club, he didn't want to comment.
While Neu isn't commenting, his attorney is saying: DA George Gascon is creating a smoke screen.
"This is a situation for political reasons to cause a distraction over the incredibly high crime rate in this city," attorney Harry Stern said.
"That's absurd these are very serious allegations and I think Mr. Stern is trying to downplay them," San Francisco District Attorney's Office spokesperson Max Szabo said.
Gascon said Neu forced the inmates to fight. "Including that they would be handcuffed, beaten, maced," he said
Neu's attorney said that's not how it went down. "They started out as my understanding really over a disagreement of who was in better shape," Stern said.
Jones is accused of looking the other way. "He's scared to death. He's a law enforcement officer this is not supposed to happen," said Bill Rapoport, Jones' attorney.
His attorney says he did nothing wrong. "Standing back watching for a few seconds and then telling the people that were on the floor wrestling to get back in the kitchen where they belonged," he said.
A third deputy also charged is expected to appear in court Tuesday morning.