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Ex-congressman pleads not guilty in Zimbabwe (Mel Reynolds)
The Hill ^ | February 19, 2014 | Julian Pecquet

Posted on 02/19/2014 10:49:27 AM PST by Second Amendment First

Former Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-Ill.) pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Zimbabwe to charges that he possessed pornography.

Reynolds, who will spend a third night in a Zimbabwe jail, is accused of overstaying his visa and of using his smartphone to take photos and videos of naked men and women in his Harare hotel room.

His lawyer had recommended that Reynolds plead guilty, according to The Associated Press , because the charges only require that he be fined and deported.

An alleged former bodyguard for the former congressman say he and four others denounced Reynolds to immigration authorities because he owed them more than $22,000 in unpaid salaries since August, the AP reports.

Reynolds resigned from Congress in 1995 after pleading guilty to statutory rape following a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer. He was also convicted of bank fraud, but former President Clinton later commuted that sentence.

Reynolds told reporters that he has not received any help from the U.S. embassy during his stay in jail. His bail hearing has been set for Thursday.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 02/19/2014 10:49:27 AM PST by Second Amendment First
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To: Second Amendment First
I bet he's having quite the experience in a Zim prison.

Couldn't happen to a more deserving person.

2 posted on 02/19/2014 10:52:10 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Moslems reserve the right to behead anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: Second Amendment First

What a scumbag. Keep him there.


3 posted on 02/19/2014 10:54:23 AM PST by Viennacon
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Lawyer Arthur Gurira entered a "not guilty" plea on behalf of Reynolds, who sat motionless in the dock. Gurira asked the magistrate court to allow his client to seek medical attention for an unspecified illness and said he would apply on Thursday for his release from detention. Gurira said he was also trying to convince Reynolds to plead guilty to all the charges. "I am still trying to persuade him to plead guilty to all the charges. They are not that serious. I believe he will get a fine on the pornography charge because he never caused them (the pictures and videos) to be published," Gurira said.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-mel-reynolds-arrest-zimbabwe-20140219,0,3673480.story

4 posted on 02/19/2014 10:55:58 AM PST by Second Amendment First
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To: Second Amendment First
Excerpt from Wikipedia entry on former congressman Reynolds.

Legal troubles

In August 1994, Reynolds was indicted for sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse for engaging in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer that began during the 1992 campaign. Despite the charges, he continued his campaign and was re-elected that November; he had no opposition. Reynolds initially denied the charges, which he claimed were racially motivated. On August 22, 1995, he was convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography. He resigned his seat on October 1 of that year.

Reynolds was sentenced to five years in prison, thus he expected to be released in 1998. However, in April 1997 he was convicted on 15 unrelated counts of bank fraud and lying to SEC investigators. These charges resulted in an additional sentence of 78 months in federal prison. Reynolds served all of his first sentence, and served 42 months in prison for the later charges. At that point, President Bill Clinton commuted the sentence for bank fraud. As a result, Reynolds was released from prison and served the remaining time in a halfway house.

Later career[edit]

In January 2001, Reynolds was hired by Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/Push Coalition to decrease the number of young blacks going to prison.

In 2004, Reynolds was overwhelmingly defeated in the Democratic primary by incumbent Jesse Jackson, Jr., with Jackson netting 88% of the vote. In late 2012, the Chicago ABC affiliate reported that Reynolds had plans to announce his candidacy to replace the recently resigned Jesse Jackson, Jr. in the Illinois's 2nd congressional district special election, 2013.

On February 18, 2014, Reynolds was arrested in Zimbabwe for overstaying his visa. He was allegedly found to be in possession of pornographic videos he had filmed with several women at the hotel where he was staying. Possession of pornography is a crime in the country. He had also purportedly accrued over $24,000 in hotel charges that he had yet to pay.


5 posted on 02/19/2014 10:59:12 AM PST by Steely Tom (How do you feel about robbing Peter's robot?)
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To: Steely Tom
Reynolds praised Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe, calling him "one of the last lions of Africa that brought freedom to the people of this great continent," and scolded the U.S. for imposing sanctions on the country.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-mel-reynolds-arrest-zimbabwe-20140219,0,4702513,full.story

6 posted on 02/19/2014 11:01:31 AM PST by Second Amendment First
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To: Steely Tom

What punishment does Zim have for this kind of thing?


7 posted on 02/19/2014 11:02:07 AM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Second Amendment First

Liberals still keeping it classy!


8 posted on 02/19/2014 11:06:57 AM PST by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: GeronL
He will probably lose this gig if nothing else

Reynolds was recently involved in a deal to construct a $145 million five-star Hilton Hotel and office complex in Zimbabwe, The Herald reported. He was pictured last year standing alongside government officials in a Herald report about the launch of the hotel construction. A spokeswoman for Hilton, based in McLean, Va., had no immediate comment. When given written questions on Tuesday by the Tribune about Reynolds' reported involvement in its Zimbabwe hotel development, Hilton officials did not respond.

9 posted on 02/19/2014 11:07:37 AM PST by Second Amendment First
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To: Second Amendment First
Reynolds resigned from Congress in 1995

causing a state senator to resign her seat to run for the House to replace Reynolds

letting an unknown lecturer from Chicago slides into the Illinois Senate unopposed

and the rest is history.

10 posted on 02/19/2014 11:08:13 AM PST by Pan_Yan (Who told you that you were naked? Genesis 3:11)
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To: Pan_Yan

Excellent summary!


11 posted on 02/19/2014 11:09:47 AM PST by Second Amendment First
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To: SMARTY
The former Illinois congressman, who wore a creased grey suit, also said he did not have a lawyer to represent him.

What is it about the democrats that they are so impressed by the crease of their pants?

12 posted on 02/19/2014 11:15:19 AM PST by Second Amendment First
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To: Second Amendment First
Reynolds told reporters that he has not received any help from the U.S. embassy during his stay in jail. His bail hearing has been set for Thursday.

Help? What's he want them to do, stop by the jail and show him their junk?

13 posted on 02/19/2014 11:18:30 AM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Second Amendment First

Insert key
Turn
Throw key away


14 posted on 02/19/2014 11:23:54 AM PST by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: Still Thinking
Reynolds told reporters that he has not received any help from the U.S. embassy during his stay in jail. His bail hearing has been set for Thursday.

Perhaps there's some history between Mr. Reynolds and the current chief executive.

15 posted on 02/19/2014 11:54:00 AM PST by Steely Tom (How do you feel about robbing Peter's robot?)
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To: Second Amendment First

He’s one of Obama’s BROTHERS!!


16 posted on 02/19/2014 1:05:26 PM PST by Ann Archy (Abortion......the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Second Amendment First
Ex-congressman

They usually always refer to an ex-congressman as "congressman" -- unless of course he is arrested in Zimbabwe I guess.

17 posted on 02/19/2014 2:23:54 PM PST by Uncle Chip
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