Multi-million dollar hotel deals and a prolific hobby as an alleged amateur pornographer. It appears Melvin Reynolds, the former Illinois congressman who left office in disgrace following his conviction of, among other things, having sex with one of his underaged campaign volunteers, has been busy in Zimbabwe.
Reynolds had tried to become something of a business mogul in the country, leading U.S. business delegations and helping strike a $145 million deal to build a Hilton hotel in its capital city, according to various published reports of his post-prison business dealings.
But Reynold's arrest Monday in the capital Harare has echoes of his past troubles. A report from the state-controlled Herald newspaper, cited though not independently confirmed by other news outlets, said Reynolds was charged with possessing pornographic materials and violating the country's immigration laws.
The Herald, relying on an aide to Reynolds identified as "Sunny" and another unnamed source, supplied the sordid details of the ex-congressman's alleged lifestyle while cutting business deals in the African country.
He shot more than 100 pornographic videos and snapped 2,000 pornographic pictures while in the company of up to 10 "beautiful women" -- "famous models" even -- at a time, according to the report, while four personal aides kept watch.
He also amassed more than $24,000 in bills at two different hotels and remained in Zimbabwe after his visa expired, the Herald said.
The Herald, which is owned by the Zimbabwe government, has been described by Freedom House, an international watchdog group, as a newspaper "whose propagandistic coverage favors [President Robert] Mugabe." Mugabe has been targeted with sanctions by the United States and European Union for alleged human rights violations and suppression of democratic values, including freedom of the press.
Read More →