Former congressman Mel Reynolds arrested in Zimbabwe

HARARE Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:27am EST

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HARARE (Reuters) - Former congressman Mel Reynolds has been arrested in Zimbabwe, an immigration official said on Tuesday, after state media reported the convicted sex offender had been found with pornography at a local hotel.

Police and immigration officials were investigating Reynolds for living in the southern African country without a valid visa, Francis Mabika, an assistant regional immigration officer, told Reuters.

Mabika said Reynolds has been in Zimbabwe since November, but declined to give further details.

Reuters was unable to reach Reynolds for comment. A spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in Harare declined to comment.

The state-owned Herald newspaper said the former Illinois congressman had been arrested at a hotel in the capital Harare on Monday, where he had been found in possession of pornographic videos and pictures.

Possession of pornography is a crime in Zimbabwe.

He had also run up $24,500 in unpaid hotel bills, the newspaper said.

"I have been in this country 17 times where I have done a lot of work for the people including the fight against sanctions," the newspaper quoted Reynolds as saying.

The Herald's website showed a picture of a baseball-capped Reynolds being led away by two men, his hands clasped in front of him.

Reynolds, a former Rhodes scholar, was a fast-rising star in the U.S. Democratic party when he was forced to resign in 1995 after being convicted of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography.

The former representative made a attempt at his former seat last year, running in a primary race under the slogan "Redemption".

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by David Dolan and Andrew Heavens)

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Comments (10)
sabrefencer wrote:
didn’t pay his bills, well, maybe he should be arrested for that….or at least, made to pay his obligations…as for the porn, the govt of Zimbabwe rapes its citizens everyday…arrest them all for porn..

Feb 18, 2014 10:28am EST  --  Report as abuse
Gitfidl wrote:
Another congressman who cannot control his sexual urges. Too bad that the 500 most powerful people in the U.S. are caught time and time again in sex crimes: sending porn pictures, having it, in washrooms, in hotels, on yachts, driving across bridges .. and then an equalo number stealing (bribes, pay offs, gifts, IRS lies) … and drugs. Well the fools (us) elect them .. so they get what they voted for.

Feb 18, 2014 11:34am EST  --  Report as abuse
ARJTurgot2 wrote:
From wiki:

In August 1994, Reynolds was indicted for sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse for engaging in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer that began during the 1992 campaign.[1] Despite the charges, he continued his campaign and was re-elected that November; he had no opposition.[1] Reynolds initially denied the charges, which he claimed were racially motivated. On August 22, 1995, he was convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography. He resigned his seat on October 1 of that year.[2]

Reynolds was sentenced to five years in prison, thus he expected to be released in 1998. However, in April 1997 he was convicted on 15 unrelated counts of bank fraud and lying to SEC investigators. These charges resulted in an additional sentence of 78 months in federal prison. Reynolds served all of his first sentence, and served 42 months in prison for the later charges. At that point, President Bill Clinton commuted the sentence for bank fraud. As a result, Reynolds was released from prison and served the remaining time in a halfway house.[3][4]

Feb 18, 2014 11:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
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