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Nation IN BRIEF : ILLINOIS : Accuser Is Said to Recant Sex Charges

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

In a moment of courtroom drama, an attorney interrupted a hearing in the sexual misconduct and obstruction-of-justice case against Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-Ill.) to say that the congressman’s accuser was recanting her allegations. Lawyer Reginald Turner said his client, Beverly Heard, wanted it known that the Cook County state’s attorney office and police had coached her to get incriminating statements from Reynolds during wiretapped phone conversations, and had threatened her when she wanted to withdraw her testimony. Reynolds, who won election in November to his second term, was indicted in August on charges involving sex with Heard, a campaign volunteer, beginning in 1992 when she was 16.


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