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TEEN TESTIFIES THAT LAWMAKER USUALLY PAID HER AFTER SEX ACTS

SHARE TEEN TESTIFIES THAT LAWMAKER USUALLY PAID HER AFTER SEX ACTS

A teenager has testified that she was usually paid after her underage sexual escapades with Rep. Mel Reynolds, and that she twice had sex with him and another woman in his local office.

Beverly Heard, 19, broke her silence Monday after spending 11 days in jail for refusing to confirm either her original accusations in June 1994 or her recantation in January.She said her relationship with Reynolds became sexual when she was 16, soon after the two-term Democrat drove up to her in a black Cadillac as she walked outside a high school, and that she received up to $100 after some encounters.

On cross-examination, she agreed when a defense attorney portrayed her as a chronic liar who would say anything prosecutors wanted to avoid more jail time.

Judge Fred G. Suria ordered Heard to remain jailed until she completes her testimony. She was due back on the stand Tuesday. She agreed to answer questions after prosecutors offered her immunity from perjury or criminal contempt charges.

Reynolds, 43, faces up to 86 years in prison if convicted of criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to engineer Heard's recantation.

He sat expressionless as Heard testified, looking down at the defense table and taking notes.

Heard said that within a week of when Reynolds approached her in June 1992, the congressman took her to dinner, then masturbated in the car while driving her home.

Heard testified that between June 1992 and November 1992, when she turned 17, she saw Reynolds two or three days a week and "most of the time we saw one another we had sex."

In Illinois, sex with a 16-year-old is illegal. Sex with a 17-year-old is illegal for an adult in a position of authority, such as a teacher, Scout master or congressman.