Zimbabwe

Ex-US congressman held for porn in Zim

2014-02-18 21:06
Melvin Jay Reynolds. (AP)

Melvin Jay Reynolds. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Special Report

Tsvangirai hints at anti-Mugabe protests
Tsvangirai hints at anti-Mugabe protests

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says his party could roll out protests against President Robert Mugabe’s government over its inability to improve a flagging economy.

Harare - Former US Representative Melvin Jay Reynolds has been arrested in Zimbabwe on suspicion of possessing pornography and an immigration offence.

Reynolds is being held in custody and is expected to appear in court soon, immigration official Ario Mabika told The Associated Press.

Reynolds, 62, was arrested on Monday by police detectives and immigration officials at a Harare hotel, according to the state-controlled newspaper, The Herald.

He brought several Zimbabwean models and other women to his hotel room where he took photographs and videos, the newspaper reported.

As Reynolds was being escorted to a government vehicle he demanded that officials give him his mobile phone and laptop computer, according to The Herald, whose reporter arrived at the hotel as the arrest was taking place.

Reynolds complained that he was not expecting such treatment when he had brought investors to the country, according to the newspaper. He said he had been to Zimbabwe 17 times and had called for US sanctions to be dropped against President Robert Mugabe and his top associates.

This is the latest of several legal problems for Reynolds, an Illinois Democrat, who once was a Rhodes scholar. Reynolds 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.

While in prison he was also convicted of bank and campaign fraud. He was in jail until his sentence was commuted by President Bill Clinton in January 2001.

Regarding Reynolds' new arrest in Zimbabwe, a spokesperson for the US 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 also has accumulated hotel bills worth $24 500 which he has not yet paid, reported The Herald.

Sex case

Reynolds could face up to two years' imprisonment or a hefty fine if found guilty of possessing pornographic material and deportation for breaching Zimbabwean immigration laws. It is illegal in Zimbabwe to possess any material of a sexual nature.

Before his arrest, Reynolds had gained prominence in Zimbabwe for being involved in attracting investment for the $145m construction of a Hilton Hotel and office complex in Harare, reported The Herald. Construction is expected to begin in April and be finished in last 2016, said the newspaper.

"He toured the construction site back then in the company of government ministers Walter Mzembi, Webster Shamu and Ignatius Chombo, and businessman Mr Farai Jere," according to the paper.

At one time Reynolds was considered a rising star in the Democratic party.

A Harvard graduate, Reynolds unseated US Rep Gus Savage in 1992, two years after a House ethics committee determined that during an official trip to Africa, Savage had made improper sexual advances to a female Peace Corps volunteer.

But then Reynolds was convicted in his own sex case and sent to prison in 1995. Later, while still behind bars, he was convicted of fraud for concealing debts to obtain bank loans and diverting money intended for voter registration drives into his election campaign. In 2001, President Bill Clinton commuted the sentence for bank fraud and Reynolds served his remaining time in a halfway house.

Reynolds's arrest comes a little more than 14 months after he tried to resurrect his political career, running for the congressional seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr, who resigned from office and pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds on personal items. Jackson is now serving a 2 1/2 year prison term.

Reynolds was never really considered a serious candidate and that run ended in defeat, as did a 2004 run when in the Democratic primary he received just 6% of the vote.

Announcing his run in late 2012 Reynolds, who said he had his own consulting firm and some business in Africa, campaigned with posters that proclaimed "Redemption."

- AP

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
31 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where the more positive and optimistic you are the more opportunities you seem to attract....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.