Former Illinois Congressman Mel Reynolds (pictured) was arrested Monday in the African country of Zimbabwe on allegations that he was creating pornography, according to The Herald.
Reynolds, who held the 2nd Congressional District seat from 1993 to 1995, is no stranger to erotica. The 62-year-old served a prison term in the 90’s for solicitation of child pornography and other charges, including 12 counts of sexual assault with a 16-year-old campaign worker and bank fraud. While serving time, the feds investigated Reynolds, hitting him with campaign finance charges for improperly using his campaign funds. In 2001, former President Bill Clinton commuted his sentence to time served.
In 2012, Reynolds, who is also a Rhodes Scholar, unsuccessfully sought the vacancy left by U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned from his position amid an intensive and very public federal investigation that resulted in his imprisonment for stealing $750,000 from his campaign fund.
Regarding his latest charges, Reynolds is being accused of making pornographic videos and photographs of models. The possession of pornographic materials is illegal in Zimbabwe.
The former politico is also said to have accumulated mounting bills of over $24,500 from two local hotels. Reynolds claims to have visited Zimbabwe 17 times and also insists that he has fought against sanctions for the country and has worked on behalf of its people. Yet immigration officials also claim that Reynolds was visiting the country illegally because his visa had expired.
Reynolds is denying the charges levied against him and is appalled by the treatment he is receiving, after he felt he has done so much for the nation of Zimbabwe, telling The Herald, “I misplaced my passport but I found it implying that I am not certain if I breached immigration laws against this country. I am sure I will find out about that. They denied me my passport so that I can contact the United States Embassy, which is a violation of international laws.”
Meanwhile, Assistant Regional Immigration Officer Francis Mabika confirmed Reynold’s arrest to The Herald stating, “He has been picked up. Investigations are still underway and revealing information will jeopardize investigations that are underway.”