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Reynolds denies pressuring teen

August 16, 1995

CHICAGO (CNN) -- Rep. Mel Reynolds, D-Illinois, maintained his innocence during a second intense day of cross-examination.

Reynolds, 43, is on trial for allegedly having sex with a 16- year-old girl who worked for his 1992 campaign. The two-term congressman admits engaging in phone sex with Beverly Heard, now 19, but denies having sex with her.

Cook County prosecutor Colleen Hyland grilled Reynolds Wednesday about a series of bank withdrawals and phone calls he placed after learning he was under investigation for sexual misconduct.

Hyland suggested Reynolds pressured Heard into recanting her story. Reynolds said the bank withdrawals went toward a down payment for a house and a trip for his wife.

Heard recanted her story four times and spent two weeks in jail for refusing to testify against the congressman. Last week she testified she and Reynolds had sex two or three times a week during and after the 1992 campaign. If convicted, Reynolds could face more than 80 years in prison.



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