BOGOTA - A 12th US military service member was linked to a prostitution scandal in Colombia on Monday and the Pentagon suspended the security clearance of personnel implicated in the events ahead of President Barack Obama's visit earlier this month.
Twelve Secret Service employees have also been implicated in the incident, the worst scandal in decades for the agency responsible for the safety of the president and other senior officials. Six of those have since left the Secret Service.
The 12th military service member, attached to the White House Communications Agency, has been relieved of his duties pending the outcome of an investigation, according to a US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
US Secret Service and military personnel allegedly took as many as 21 women back to their beachfront hotel in Cartagena on the night of April 11-12, just before Obama arrived in the seaside city to attend the Summit of the Americas.
They were discovered when one woman complained about money, leading to the involvement of the local police.