SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP/The Daily Caller) — Police in the Dominican Republic say they have determined that three women who said they had sex with a U.S. senator for money were in fact paid to make false claims by an attorney in the Caribbean country, according to the Associated Press.
That determination, police say, was made based on the claims of three women who told cops they had lied about having sex with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
Dominican National Police spokesman Maximo Baez says officers traced the payments to attorney Melanio Figueroa, who has previously denied the allegations. “These are lies by [Miguel] Galván,” Figueroa told the Miami Herald on March 4, referring to the lawyer who says he paid the women to lie to American media outlets at Figueroa’s direction. “What he is saying is a lie,” Figueroa told the Herald.
Baez says two women received about $425 each and the other was paid about $300 to make the allegedly false claims.
Baez said at a news conference Monday that authorities were seeking to interrogate Figueroa about the payments. Figueroa did not respond to messages left at his office by the AP.
The women have not been detained.
Two women who spoke with The Daily Caller via a recorded video conference in October alleged that Menendez had sex with them for money and that he had underpaid for their services. Menendez denied the allegations.
On March 4, The Washington Post reported that a 23-year-old woman named Nexis de los Santos Santana issued a sworn statement claiming that she had been paid to make up claims about sleeping with Menendez. The Post report initially claimed that she had spoken with TheDC, though the described interview bore little resemblance to any interview conducted by this outlet.
Later, undisclosed changes to the Post’s online version of the report backed away from asserting that the woman they described had spoken with TheDC.
Indeed, a separate ABC News report revealed that the television outlet had also interviewed two of the same women TheDC had, opening the possibility that the interview described by The Washington Post was one conducted by ABC News.
It remains unclear if the individual who signed the affidavit as Nexis de los Santos Santana is one of the women seen in interviews with TheDC or ABC News, though the latter outlet relied on a “Dominican official” to say that one of the women in ABC’s interview was de los Santos.
TheDC has not independently verified the identities of the women involved in the Dominican National Police investigation, but will continue to investigate the case.
A statement released by the police made no mention of TheDC.