WASHINGTON — An inmate who complained that a woman performed oral sex on Marion Barry in front of more than 20 people in a prison visiting room said Saturday that the former Washington mayor made a veiled threat against him.
"He said that, if I complained, there would be repercussions," Floyd Robertson said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. "It sounded like a threat to me."
Two days after the Dec. 29 complaint at the minimum-security Petersburg prison in Virginia, Robertson was moved to another prison.
"I assume the warden was looking out for me, that it was for my own protection," he said from the federal prison in Butner, N.C.
The Justice Department, meanwhile, confirmed that its Bureau of Prisons is investigating an "allegation of sexual conduct by Marion Barry in the visiting area at the prison."
"The investigation is being conducted to determine what happened, and we'll proceed from that point," said Joe Krovisky, a department spokesman.
The Bureau of Prisons does not have the authority to order Barry held in prison beyond his six-month sentence, but it does have the authority to penalize inmates by curtailing privileges or relocating them, a spokesman said.
Barry's lawyer, Kenneth Mundy, on Saturday denied the alleged sexual encounter. He called Robertson "a malcontent prisoner with a grudge," and said the allegations were "totally groundless. We deny them."
The identity of the woman who visited Barry remained unclear. A prison spokesman said sexual activity in the visiting room violates prison rules. Bureau of Prisons officials declined to comment on the case.
The three-term Washington mayor was convicted last year of cocaine possession and began serving the six-month term Oct. 26.