- Probe found four Obama officials hired prostitutes in Brasilia nightclub
- It comes a week after scandal over the President’s Security Staff using prostitutes in Colombia
By Matt Roper
PUBLISHED: 03:27 EST, 25 April 2012 | UPDATED: 08:04 EST, 25 April 2012
American marines injured a Brazilian prostitute after throwing her out of an official Embassy car, it was reported today.
Romilda Ferreira was left with a broken collar bone, two broken ribs and a punctured lung after the incident in Brazil’s capital Brasilia.
The three marines on a U.S. Embassy security team, and an Embassy staff member, were pulled out of the country before police were able to press charges, according to Brazil’s Jornal Nacional programme.
The revelation comes a week after ten American Secret Service agents were accused of hiring prostitutes in Colombia prior to president Barack Obama’s visit to the Summit of Americas.
The scandal blew up after a prostitute fought with an agent who had slept with her at a Colombian hostel but then refused to hand over the £800 they had agreed upon.
This latest incident, which happened in November last year, came to light after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in Brazil during a Latin American tour, was questioned about it by a Brazilian reporter during a press conference.
According to a Brazilian police investigation, the four U.S. Embassy officials had visited a nightclub in the centre of Brasilia where they had hired a group of prostitutes.
One of the Americans and at least one woman left the club by taxi, but Ms Ferreira and another women got into an official U.S. Embassy van with the other three men.
As they pulled away there was a discussion about how much the women were to be paid, and one of the marines pushed Ms Ferreira out of the car, where she ended up being run over by the vehicle.
Speaking to the Jornal Nacional news programme, Romilda said she tried to hold on to the door but was dragged under the wheels.
She said: ‘I tried to get up and grabbed the doorknob. That was when they told the driver to go. Then I felt my leg burning. I let go and fell underneath the van. I hit my head and passed out.’
The Americans then allegedly drove away without offering assistance.
Police investigating the incident requested the arrest of the driver of the van and one of the marines for bodily injury and failure to rescue.
But U.S. authorities removed the four men from the country before they could be charged with the crimes.
Speaking to reporters in Brasilia, Mr Panetta said the men were pulled from the country, two of the marines had their ranks reduced and the embassy staff member was removed from his post.
He added that the embassy had tracked Ms Ferreira down and paid for her medical expenses.
He added: ‘This incident was fully investigated and all those involved were punished. They are no longer in this country. This type of behaviour is unacceptable.’
He said he had ‘no tolerance for that kind of conduct. Where it takes place you can be sure that we will act to make sure that they are punished.’
Ms Ferreira, who is still recovering from her injuries, said she now intends to sue the American embassy.