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    Sex offender: Mel Reynolds, former Illinois congressman, arrested in Zimbabwe

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    Former U.S. congressman Mel Reynolds was arrested at a hotel in the capital of Zimbabwe on Tuesday (February 18) on charges of possession of pornography, overstaying his visa and not ponying up for large unpaid hotel bills.

    This is not the former lawmaker's first brush with the law. Reynolds was a rising star in the U.S. Democratic Party in the early 1990s, but was busted for a 'relationship' with a 16-year-old staffer.

    After first denying a host of accusations which he said were racially motivated, he was eventually convicted in the U.S. on charges including sexual assault, solicitation of child porn and obstruction of justice.

    After his release from prison some seven years later, Reynolds began making frequent trips to Zimbabwe.

    And on Tuesday, Zimbabwe police raided his hotel room and arrested him on charges of possessing pornographic material, which is illegal there, and failure to pay an over US$24,000 dollar hotel bill.

    According to a report in a local newspaper, The Herald, the ex-congressman also faces charges of residing in Zimbabwe without a proper visa, with Assistant Regional Immigration Officer Francis Mafia confirming the arrest and saying his department was investigating.

    The newspaper said Reynolds was found to be in possession of pornographic material--which is illegal in Zimbabwe--that he allegedly shot with several girls in his hotel room.

    The Herald Newspaper in Zimbabwe also said the former lawmaker had racked up unpaid hotel bills of more than US$24,500 at two local hotels.

    Reynolds will now get to enjoy the justice system of Zimbabwe, a nation feted as a leader in the suppression of human rights and the trampling of democracy.


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