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Saturday, February 02, 2013

US senator Robert Menendez had sex with under-age prostitutes in the Dominican Republic but denies it

A US senator has denied he had sex with under-aged prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, while repaying a wealthy donor tens of thousands of dollars for flights to the Caribbean nation on a private jet.

US senator Robert Menendez denies sex with under-age prostitutes
Robert Menendez, left, took over the foreign relations committee chairmanship this week

Senator Robert Menendez, the incoming chairman of the Senate's influential foreign relations committee, issued the unusual statement amid growing controversy over the donor, Dr Salomon Melgen.
"Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically motivated right-wing blog and are false," said a spokesman for Mr Menendez, who has represented New Jersey since 2005.
Two women from the Dominican Republic claimed in The Daily Caller, a news website, that they were paid for sex with Mr Menendez, a 58-year-old divorcee, last year at the Casa de Campo resort. "He called himself 'Bob'," one of the women told the website.
Dr Melgen, an eye specialist and friend of the senator, owns a property in the 7,000-acre resort, at which Mr Menendez is reported to have stayed.
Prostitution is legal in the Dominican Republic.

The doctor's clinic, in West Palm Beach, Florida, was this week raided by the FBI. Its agents are believed to be investigating potential fraud relating to Medicare, the health scheme for poor Americans.
While strenuously denying liaisons with prostitutes, Mr Menendez's office said he had reimbursed Mr Melgen for two trips to the Dominican Republic on the doctor's private jet in 2010.
Aides to the senator, a leading advocate for US victims of the Lockerbie bombing, said he had repaid Mr Melgen $58,500 (£37,000) for the trips, which had not previously been disclosed publicly.
Mr Menendez this week took over the foreign relations committee chairmanship from Senator John Kerry, who was confirmed as President Barack Obama's new Secretary of State.
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