Source: The Hill
Ex-congressman pleads not guilty in Zimbabwe
February 19, 2014
By Julian Pecquet
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.
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