Ex-Rep. Mel Reynolds arrested in Zimbabwe on pornography, immigration charges

Former U.S. congressman and convicted sex offender Mel Reynolds is under arrest in Harrare on charges of possession of pornography. (Reuters)

Former congressman Melvin Reynolds (D-Ill.) has been arrested by immigration officers in Zimbabwe, the Associated Press reports.

An immigration official, Ario Mabika, told AP that Reynolds was arrested for an immigration violation and possessing pornography. The state-run newspaper also reports Reynolds has failed to pay more than $24,000 in hotel bills.

Reynolds served briefly in Congress in the mid-1990s before being convicted on charges that included sexual assault and solicitation of child pornography. He was also later convicted of financial and campaign fraud.

Former president Bill Clinton commuted Reynolds's sentence with two years remaining on it in 2001.

After his successor, Jesse Jackson Jr., left the seat while facing his own criminal charges, Reynolds ran for the seat again in a special election. He finished seventh in the Democratic primary, with less than 1 percent of the vote.

Updated at 9:45 a.m.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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