Former U.S. Congressman Melvin Jay Reynolds after his arrest at the

Bronte Garden Hotel in Harare. Charged with overstaying his visa and

possessing pornography, given the byzantine world of despot Robert

Mugabe, his government contacts may have gotten him into trouble.



Former U.S. Congressman Arrested for Overstaying Visa; Possessing Pornography (The Herald, Zimbabwe)


According to this news item from Zimbabwe's state-run Herald, former U.S. Congressman Melvin Reynolds, who resigned in disgrace in 1995 after, among other charges, raping a campaign worker, has been arrested in Zimbabwe for overstaying his visa and possessing pornographic material. Despite Reynolds' checkered past, given his contacts within the government of Zimbabwe despot Robert Mugabe, the charges cannot be taken at face value.


By Farai Kuvirimirwa


February 19, 2014


Zimbabwe - The Herald - Original Article (English)

One-Time Congressman Melvin Reynolds, who resigned his office in disgrace in 1995, is in the news again. Now charged with overstaying his visa and possessing pornography, it appears his contacts in the Mugabe regime were unwilling or unable to help him.


MEL HANNA MORNING SHOW, U.S.: Should Mel Reynolds be Running for Congress?, Nov. 29, 2012, 00:02:54RealVideo

Former United States Congressman for Chicago Melvin Jay Reynolds, who entered Zimbabwe last year purporting to be a middleman for foreign investors in tourism, was arrested yesterday for violating immigration laws and possessing pornographic material. He had also accumulated unpaid bills totaling $24,500 at two hotels.


Reynolds, who was convicted on 12 counts of statutory rape, obstruction of justice, and solicitation of child pornography before resigning his U.S. Congressional seat, was arrested by police detectives and immigration officials at the Bronte Garden Hotel.


Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba first said that police wouldn't have arrested someone like Reynolds, but Assistant Regional Immigration Officer Francis Mabika differed and confirmed the incident, saying he would provide more information about the case today.


"He has been picked up. Investigations are still underway. Revealing information now would jeopardize investigations that are underway," he said.


According to a former aide identified as Sunny, Reynolds was in possession of pornographic material he shot himself while in the company of a model (name withheld) and several girls in his various hotel rooms.


"His travel documents were not up to date ... he used to bring beautiful women at different times. He employed five of us including a personal assistant and a driver. He accrued unpaid hotel bills of more than $24,500 at two local hotels," Sunny said.


Another closely placed source said Reynolds shot more than 100 pornographic videos and a 2,000 nude pictures while in the company of at least ten women - including famous models.


"Reynolds entered Zimbabwe on Nov. 13 via the Plumtree Border Post, where he was given a 14 day visa, which was later renewed and expired on Dec. 10. Since then he has been in the country illegally. ... He conducted these acts in the hotel rooms, guarded by the four personal aides on his payroll," Officer Francis Mabika said.


When The Herald arrived at the Bronte Garden Hotel at around 1pm, Reynolds was being escorted to a vehicle and was demanding his mobile phone and laptop from the officials.


"It is the way it is - and I have been in this country 17 times during which I have done a lot of work for the people, including the fight against sanctions. I misplaced my passport - but I found it, which should suggest that I'm not certain if I breached immigration laws against this country.

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"I am sure I'll find out about that. They denied me my passport so I can't contact the United States Embassy - which is a violation of international laws," said Reynolds.


Reynolds said he wasn't expecting such treatment after bringing several investors in the country.


Recently, Reynolds hogged the limelight after being connected to the construction of the five-star, $145 million Hilton Hotel and office complex along Samora Machel Avenue in Eastlea, which was originally scheduled to open in April, but has been delayed until late 2016.


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He toured the construction site in the company of Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi, Publicity and Information Minister Webster Shamu, Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development Ignatius Chombo, and businessman and former footballer Farai Jere.


According to American newspapers, in 1995, Reynolds resigned from a Congressional post he held for two years, after being convicted of statutory rape, bank fraud, obstruction of justice, and having sex with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer.


He was sentenced to five years in prison before being given an additional sentence of 78 months in federal prison for 15 unrelated counts of bank fraud and lying to investigators.


He completed serving his first sentence, and served 42 months for the latter charges before former U.S. President Bill Clinton commuted his sentence for bank fraud in 2001.


Reynolds was released from prison and served his remaining time in a halfway house. He was hired by Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow-Push Coalition to help reduce the number of young Blacks going to prison.


Halfway houses are meant to reintegrate into society people who have been recently released from prison.

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Posted By Worldmeets.US Feb. 19, 2014, 6:39pm