Former Congressman Mel Reynolds Arrested in Zimbabwe

MacDonald Dzirutwe, Reuters, February 18, 2014

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.

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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.

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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 an attempt at his former seat last year, running in a primary race under the slogan “Redemption”.

Mel Reynolds

Mel Reynolds

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