US Marines Disciplined in Brazil Prostitute Encounter

Posted April 25th, 2012 at 1:55 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. officials are dealing with another embarrassing incident involving prostitutes and U.S. government personnel posted in Latin America.

Defense officials say three U.S. Marines stationed at the U.S. embassy in Brazil and an embassy staffer picked up two prostitutes at a nightclub last December. One of the prostitutes says the men pushed her out of the car, and when she tried to re-enter the vehicle, she fell to the ground and was injured.

Another U.S. official says the embassy found the woman and paid for her medical expenses.

The revelation was made following a scandal involving military and Secret Service personnel and prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia earlier this month before U.S. President Barack Obama's arrival for the Summit of the Americas. Eight Secret Service agents have either been dismissed or resigned over the incident, while one more will have his security clearance permanently revoked.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters Tuesday in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, that all three Marines have been disciplined in the Brazil incident.

“This incident was fully investigated and those that were involved have been punished in Cartagena. They (referring to Marines involved in Brazil incident) are no longer in this country, they were disranked and they were severely punished for that behavior. I have no tolerance of that kind of conduct, not here or any place in the world. And where it takes place you can be assured that we will make sure that they are punished and that kind of behavior is not acceptable.''

The U.S. embassy staff member has been removed from his post. The injured prostitute has filed a lawsuit against the embassy in the wake of the Cartegena scandal.