Former Dem. Rep. Melvin Reynolds arrested in Zimbabwe
February 18th, 2014
02:16 PM ET
9 years ago

Former Dem. Rep. Melvin Reynolds arrested in Zimbabwe

Updated 3:11 p.m. ET, 2/18/2014

Harare, Zimbabwe (CNN) - Authorities in Zimbabwe on Tuesday said they have arrested former U.S. Rep. Melvin Reynolds, accusing him of violating the country's immigration laws and possessing pornographic material.

"He is still in custody and will go to court as soon as possible - hopefully before Friday. For us he will answer allegations of flouting immigration laws," Francis Mabika, a senior Zimbabwe immigration official, told CNN. Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba had referred to Mabika all questions regarding Monday's arrest.

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Police sources said the former Democratic congressman refused to reveal passwords to encrypted files, which officials said contained pornographic material.

Reynolds reportedly entered Zimbabwe in November on a 14-day visa, which was only renewed once and has expired.

"We are aware of the reports of the detention of a U.S. citizen in Harare," said Karen Kellie, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Harare. "Due to private considerations, we are unable to comment further."

Under Zimbabwe's constitution, a person must be taken to court within 48 hours of arrest unless police seek a court's warrant of further detention.

Reynolds was first elected to represent Illinois' 2nd Congressional District in 1992. He resigned three years later, shortly after his conviction on charges of criminal sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography in a case stemming from his relationship with a 16-year-old campaign worker.

Reynolds was convicted in 1997 for bank fraud and misusing campaign funds. After spending a couple of years in prison for the charges, former President Bill Clinton commuted Reynolds' sentence in 2001 on his last day in office.

Filed under: Illinois
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Well, sounds like he has a problem, to say the least. Hope they opt to charge him there and keep him.

    February 18, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Let's all pray for the man. He seems to need our help.

    February 18, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Peter

    Was he trying to sell pictures of Grace Mugabe and one of he boyfriends

    February 18, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. yolanda

    Mugabe has managed to reduce Zimbabwe to ruin. He stole defeat from the jaws of victory. Zimbabwe used to be the largest exporter of food crops in Africa, but today it is in financial ruin. Reynolds seems to be keeping good company. Maybe, as The Real Tom suggests, they will keep him there. Good riddance.

    February 18, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. charlie

    This looks like a case of sleazebags arresting a sleazebag. This is Zimbabwe after all. But crimes against children are crimes where ever they take place. I would choose to pray for the children filmed and not this sick b--d.

    February 18, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |

    they ACTUALLY claimed that he is a DEM–go figure

    February 18, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    After reading the entire post, he sounds like a dirt bag.

    February 18, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |