Brazilian Prostitute Plans To Sue U.S. Embassy

By: CBS/AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)
By: CBS/AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)

(CBS/AP)-- A Brazilian prostitute plans to sue the U.S. Embassy, three Marines, an American staff member and one of the Embassy's Brazilian drivers for injuries caused when she allegedly was pushed out of a van in Brasilia, her attorney said Thursday

Attorney Cezar Britto said by telephone that Romilda Aparecida Ferreira will sue for injuries, medical expenses and lost income.

Britto said that any possible financial settlement would be determined by a judge.

The attorney described Ferreira as a "sex professional and dancer" who met the four Americans at the Apples nightclub on Dec. 29, 2011. She and three other women left with the men in three vehicles, including two belonging to the embassy.

Britto said that after an argument with the driver, one of the Marines pushed Ferreira out of the vehicle. She broke her collarbone, two ribs and punctured a lung when the car ran over her in the nightclub's parking lot, the attorney said

State Department's spokesperson Victoria Nuland said Wednesday that the woman was not pushed out of the vehicle, but rather "attempted to open a car door and get into a closed and moving vehicle. She was not able to do so. She fell and she injured herself."

Nuland and Britto said that Brazilian authorities have not filed any charges against the four Americans.

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But that account conflicted with an earlier one from the Pentagon.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday the woman was pushed from the car and that two of the three Marines had been demoted.

Panetta, speaking to reporters in Brasilia, says the Marines were pulled out of the country. Two had their ranks reduced. The embassy staffer was removed from his post.

Panetta said he had "no tolerance for that kind of conduct."

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According to a defense official, "there were at least two women with the Marines outside a nightclub." The official said it appears that one of the women started a fight in a vehicle, then she was removed from the car and when she tried to re-enter fell to the ground and was injured. The official also said that no charges were filed by Brazilian authorities.

According to another defense official, the embassy staff member was a supervisor. The second official said the woman broke her collarbone when she was pushed from the car in late December.

Britto said his client turned down an embassy offer of 4,000 reals ($2,115) in compensation. "We asked the embassy for compensation of about 150,000 reals ($79,370) "to help defray medical costs and make up for the months she was out of work, but (embassy officials) refused to even consider it," he said.

The embassy's press attache Dean Cheves, said he did not "know of any particular numbers" and that the embassy was unaware of plans by Ferreira to file a lawsuit.


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