Mexican politician goes on leave as authorities investigate sex scandal

Mexico City, Apr 3 (EFE).- The leader of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in Mexico City has been placed on leave in the wake of reports that the women he hired as assistants were required to engage in sex acts with him, party officials said.

Cuauhtemoc Gutierrez de la Torre has left his post "via the submission of a request for leave that will be effective during the time that authorities conduct the corresponding investigation," the PRI said in a statement.

PRI employees recruited young women to work for Gutierrez, paying them with party funds and requiring that they provide sexual favors to the politician, MVS reported, citing statements from those involved in the scandal.

The young women ranged in age from 18 to 32, the MVS morning show, which is hosted by highly respected journalist Carmen Aristegui, reported.

One of the PRI employees assigned to recruit women for Gutierrez said in a conversation recorded by MVS that the assistants would have to maintain "full discretion," serving as receptionists, accompanying the politician to functions and occasionally satisfying his sexual needs with "two types of relations, oral and vaginal."

The young women were paid salaries of around 11,000 pesos ($840) per month out of party funds, MVS said.

Gutierrez's assistants were recruited with Internet ads that offered jobs "in a governmental office."

Party officials released a statement shortly after the scandal broke, calling on "the authorities of the Federal District Attorney's Office to conduct a quick and exhaustive investigation that will clear up the supposed criminal misconduct" alleged in the MVS report.

"The PRI's national leadership reiterates its commitment to legality and condemns any conduct that violates the freedom and dignity of people," the party said.

The 45-year-old Gutierrez, the heir to a trash hauling empire, currently employs between 12 and 15 women, MVS said.

An MVS investigative journalist posed as a job candidate and recorded a female recruiter as she explained the requirements for the position.