More U.S. soldiers docked pay over Colombia prostitution scandal

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 11, 2013 7:27 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Another three U.S. soldiers were docked pay and reprimanded over their roles in the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia last year, the U.S. military disclosed on Friday.

U.S. military troops and Secret Service agents were helping provide security arrangements for President Barack Obama before his April visit to a summit in the seaside city of Cartagena.

Secret Service employees were accused of bringing women, some of them prostitutes, back to their hotel rooms in Colombia, in an incident that overshadowed Obama's April visit and embarrassed the services involved.

All three of the soldiers whose punishments were announced on Friday were found guilty of having relations with prostitutes, and one was reprimanded for adultery. The U.S. military's Southern Command did not disclose the names of those punished but said two of them would forfeit pay for two months, get 45 days of extra duties and letters of reprimand.

The third soldier had a slightly lesser punishment.

Only two of the original 12 U.S. military cases are outstanding, with both sailors headed to trial by court-martial in the coming months. Seven others have received punishments ranging from docked pay to letters of reprimand.

While prostitution is legal in Colombia, it is illegal for service members under U.S. military law.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart)