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Former Congressman Mel Reynolds deported from Zimbabwe after pleading guilty

Mel Reynolds (3rd from left) in Zimbabwe
Mel Reynolds (3rd from left) in Zimbabwe

Former Illinois congressman Mel Reynolds, 62. is being deported from Zimbabwe after he pleaded guilty to having stayed in the country on a visa which had expired some time ago. Reynolds was arrested this past Monday on the expired visa charge as well as pornography charges, according to a Chicago Tribune report on Friday.

The former politician was arrested at a hotel in the country which is located in the southern portion of Africa. At the time, he was found to have pornographic videos and images in his possession, which is illegal in Zimbabwe. Reynolds denies those charges, though videos and images were allegedly found on his cell phone.

On the visa charge, Reynolds was fined $100 or was to serve five days in prison, as the punitive measures were assigned by Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe. The visa charge is a misdemeanor in Zimbabwe.

Arthur Gurira, Reynolds’ attorney, said in court that the former politician from Illinois had experienced a mild stroke earlier in 2014.

Reynolds is a Chicago Democratic politician who was in jail in the United States about two decades ago for having had sex with an underage campaign worker and soliciting child pornography.