Mel Reynolds — who went to prison in Illinois for sex with a teen-age girl — has been arrested in Zimbabwe, accused of possessing pornography after he brought models to his hotel room for photographs and videos.
He's also accused of violating immigration laws, and it is illegal in Zimbabwe to possess any materials of a sexual nature.
Reynolds, 62, was arrested Monday and is in custody, Zimbabwe immigration officials told the Associated Press. The Herald, Zimbabwe's state-run newspaper, reported that Reynolds demanded that officials return his cell phone and laptop computer to him. He complained that his arrest was shoddy treatment when he'd brought investors to the African nation and opposed U.S. sanctions against Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe.
"I have been in this country 17 times where I have done a lot of work for the people, including the fight against sanctions," Reynolds said in a quote in The Herald.
According to his former aide identified only as Sunny, Reynolds ... was in possession of pornographic material that he shot on different occasions while in the company of a model and several girls in his hotel rooms.
“His travel documents were not up to date and he used to bring beautiful women at different times. He employed five of us, including a personal assistant and a driver. ...
Another closely placed source said Reynolds shot more than 100 pornographic videos and 2,000 nude pictures while he was in the company of at least 10 women, including famous models.
Immigration officials told Reuters Reynolds may be living in the African country without a valid visa. Reynolds worked on a $145 million Hilton Hotel and office complex deal in Harare, expected to be built by 2016, according to a report in The Herald.Reynolds has $24,500 in unpaid hotel bills, The Herald reported. Reynolds could face two years in an African prison or a fine if found guilty.
The onetime congressman went to federal prison in 1995 after having sex with a 16-year-old campaign worker in Illinois. The ex-con tried to get back into Congress in 2004 and again in 2012's special 2nd District election.
In 1995, he was convicted of sexual assault, solicitation of child pornography, campaign fraud and fraud, including lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was sentenced to five years in federal prison.
When he tried to reclaim the 2nd District congressional seat after Jesse Jackson Jr. left in disgrace, Reynolds ran on a campaign theme of redemption with the slogan, "so he can finish what he started."
He collected 1 percent of the vote in the district, which covers parts of Chicago's South Side and the southeast suburbs.