Former U.S. Congressman Melvin Reynolds arrested in Zimbabwe, suspected of having pornography

By Daniel Levine,

Melvin Reynolds, a former U.S. Representative for Illinois, has been arrested in Zimbabwe. He is suspected of having pornography and also charged with an immigration violation.

Immigration official Ario Mabika confirmed to the Associated Press that the former Democratic Congressman is in custody and will be in court soon.

The 62-year-old was arrested on Monday at his hotel in Harare, the country’s capital. The state newspaper The Herald said that he allegedly took models to his hotel room and took pictures and videos of them. He reportedly handed over his smartphone and laptop to police.

“We are with him and we are conducting investigations. That is all I can say at the moment,” Mabika told the AFP.

Reynolds said he has been to Zimbabwe 17 times, the Herald reported. The former politician has had his share of legal problems in the past, as he resigned from Congress in 1995 after he was convicted of statutory rape. He was also convicted of bank and campaign fraud later, but President Bill Clinton pardoned him in 2001.

U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Karen Kelley said that they would not comment on the situation, as it was a private matter for Reynolds.

If he’s convicted Reynolds could be in prison for up to two years or a fine for breaking rules against carrying pornography in Zimbabwe. He could also be deported if convicted for violating immigration laws. He was there trying to attract interest in a $145 million Hilton Hotel project.

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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