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U.S. soldiers reprimanded in Colombia prostitution scandal

By CNN Staff
updated 5:41 PM EST, Fri January 11, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Three soldiers are among 12 service members who brought prostitutes to hotel rooms
  • The incident occurred in April ahead of Barack Obama's trip to Colombia for summit
  • All three received what military calls "non-judicial punishment"
  • 13 Secret Service agents and three DEA agents were also implicated in the scandal

(CNN) -- Three U.S. Army soldiers have received reprimands for misconduct in a prostitution scandal involving the U.S. Secret Service and other federal agents in Cartagena, Colombia, in April, the military said on Friday.

The soldiers are among 12 service members who brought prostitutes to hotel rooms just prior to a visit by President Barack Obama to the city for the Summit of the Americas.

All three soldiers received letters of reprimand for their actions, U.S. Southern Command said. One was ordered to forfeit half his base salary for two months. The other two were given 45 days of extra duties and must forfeit their base salaries for two months.

The soldiers were not identified.

Previously, four other soldiers and two Marines received similar non-judicial punishments. A member of the Air Force got a letter of reprimand. Two members of the Navy refused non-judicial punishment and are awaiting court-martial, Southern Command said.

Thirteen Secret Service agents were implicated in the scandal that rocked the agency responsible for guarding the president. Most resigned or retired and three were cleared of serious misconduct.

Three Drug Enforcement Administration agents also admitted to paying for sexual services in Colombia, according to the Justice Department's inspector general.

Prostitution is legal in Colombia. But the news that some Secret Service agents were drinking heavily and taking prostitutes back to their hotel rooms raised security concerns and tarnished the reputation of the agency.

An investigation concluded that the scandal did not harm presidential security.

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