Politics

Dominican prostitutes’ lawyer, last month: Menendez charges not ‘politically motivated’

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David Martosko
Executive Editor

In an interview conducted last month, the one-time attorney for two women who accused Sen. Bob  Menendez of paying them for sex in the Dominican Republic told The Miami Herald that his former clients’ accusations were not politically motivated.

Melanio Figueroa, who represented the two women when they gave videotaped interviews to The Daily Caller in late October, told the Herald that he had “no reason to believe it was politically motivated. It wasn’t like that.”

A Dominican woman named Nexis de los Santos Santana said yesterday in an affidavit that she was recanting her previous claim that she was paid to provide the New Jersey Democratic politician sexual favors, saying that she fears for her life.

Her affidavit, however, did not mention The Daily Caller, and describes an interview that doesn’t resemble the one TheDC published Nov. 1. While TheDC’s video interviews were conducted openly, and with corded earpieces that doubled as microphones, de los Santos said in her sworn statement that she was recorded secretly, and without her knowledge.

Vinicito Castillo Seman, a Dominican politician whose cousin is a wealthy donor to Sen. Menendez, accused Figueroa yesterday of paying de los Santos for her previous statements, something Figueroa told the Herald was “totally false.”

“It was a case that I handled for these women and faithfully represented them for what they said,” Figueroa said.

Figueroa also had harsh words for Miguel Galván, another lawyer, who represented de los Santos and spoke for her at a press conference Monday.

“These are lies by Galván,” Figueroa said, referring to accusations that he orchestrated a false interview and paid the women. “What he is saying is a lie.”

Figueroa added in February that his clients’ interviews with TheDC, for which he was present, were sincere.

“He found their interviews with the Daily Caller credible,” the Herald reported.

“I think they’re afraid,” Figueroa explained. “That’s why they are not coming forward.”

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