In a handwritten statement provided last year to a whistle-blower, a young prostitute detailed allegations that she slept with Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez beginning “when I was 16 years old.”
“During [one] visit of Senator Bob Menendez to the Dominican Republic, I had intimate relations with him on more than one occasion,” the unidentified woman wrote, according to The Daily Caller’s translation. She appears to be a new voice among what are now at least six women purported to have engaged in sex for money with Menendez.
Her claim appears in a Spanish-language testimonial collected by Peter Williams, a tipster who brought a series of similar allegations to light. He emailed a government reform group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), in April 2012 with interviews and testimonials he obtained from women he said he had met in the Dominican Republic.
Melanie Sloan, CREW’s president, said in January that she turned over a file of allegations against Menendez to the Department of Justice in July. She has since distanced herself from those claims.
CREW is generally seen as a politically liberal advocacy group.
“I met Senator Bob Menendez at Salomon’s house when I was 16 years old,” the anonymous note says, referring to Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist whose private jet ferried Menendez back and forth to the island nation at least three times. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reimbursed Melgen for one of those trips. Menendez personally paid Melgen for two more with a $58,500 check in January, more than two years after the flights occurred.
“I spent time with him several times, right there in Solomon’s house, and we had intimate relations,” the handwritten account continues. “That was in February and March 2009. I also remember on one occasion the senator participated in one of the yacht outings, to which I went various times with Salomon and other girls.”
The Daily Caller reported Monday on related allegations that a yacht owned by Vinicio “Vinicito” Castillo Seman, the scion of a prominent Dominican political family, was the scene of trysts with prostitutes involving both Melgen and Menendez. (RELATED: In Menendez saga, prostitute fingers wealthy Dominican politician as sex-party participant)
Writing about one yacht party, another young woman wrote on April 21, 2012 that “Vinicito was there” and that he “goes to many of the doctor’s functions and invents things [to do] with the young girls, and then forces them to do the same things with the doctor’s friend.”
That friend is likely Menendez. In the same email, she called him Melgen’s “good friend [who] is very important in the United States.”
“And he really liked it,” she added, “and wanted to take them to another place, but I don’t know where. They threatened those girls and told them to not talk, and that they couldn’t leave.”
The same woman wrote of Menendez: “The first time I saw him was more than three years ago at the beginning of March, because it was around my birthday,” she wrote.
In a separate email to Williams, a different young woman wrote that she had sex with Menendez while she was 16 years old — “three times at least” in 2009.
“The first one in February, and then in May and June,” that young prostitute wrote. “I recall his visit in June so well because that month was my 17th birthday.” (RELATED: Dominican prostitute says Menendez “likes the youngest and newest girls”)
The months of February, May and June 2009 don’t coincide with those described in the handwritten account, suggesting that it was written by a third young woman, and the second to claim that Menendez committed what U.S. law would call statutory rape.
On Jan. 31 a Menendez spokesperson flatly denied that the senator had engaged in any sexual contact with prostitutes.
“All of these allegations from a right-wing blog of engaging in prostitution are absolutely false,” said the spokesperson.”The Senator has known Dr. Melgen for years and his travel on Melgen’s plane on three occasions has been reported and reimbursed as required by the rules.”
The FBI raided Melgen’s flagship medical offices last week in what various reports characterized as related either to the Menendez case, or to an ongoing Medicare fraud scheme.
Charles C. Johnson contributed reporting.