Former Congressman Mel Reynolds Arrested in Zimbabwe

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  • HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A Zimbabwean immigration official says former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds has been arrested in the African country.

    The official, Ario Mabika, told The Associated Press Tuesday that Reynolds is being investigated.

    The state-controlled The Herald newspaper reported Tuesday that Reynolds was arrested for allegedly possessing pornographic material and violating immigration laws.

    Reynolds, an Illinois Democrat who lived in Dolton during his time in office, resigned from his congressional seat in 1995 after he was convicted of 12 counts of statutory rape, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography following allegations he had sex with a 16-year-old campaign worker.

    Reynolds served 36 months in prison before his sentence was commuted by President Bill Clinton.

    The Herald said Reynolds was arrested Monday by police detectives and immigration officials at a Harare hotel.

    A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy, Karen Kelley, said the embassy could not comment as it was a private matter and the embassy did not did not have a privacy waiver.

    Reynolds succeeded Congressman Gus Savage in office, who was censured after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced in 1989 regarding advances made to a Peace Corps worker while on a Congressional visit to Zaire.

    Reynolds was succeeded by former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., who is serving a 30-month federal prison sentence for misuse of campaign funds on a host of luxury items including fur coats and movie memorabilia.

    Reynolds tried and failed twice to regain his congressional seat after serving time in prison. He lost in 2004 to Jesse Jackson Jr and again in the Democratic primary in the 2013 special election to fill Jackson’s seat.

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