Anthony Weiner, former congressman from New York, pleaded guilty Friday to one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor after he was investigated for sending sexual messages to a 15-year-old girl last year.
The disgraced congressman is required to register as a sex offender and could be sentenced to years in prison, according to Associated Press reports. As part of his plea deal, Weiner has agreed not to appeal any sentence of 27 months or less. Weiner also agreed to surrender his iPhone
The former New York congressman and estranged husband of top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin tearfully admitted to a federal judge on Friday that he sent obscene material to a 15-year-old high school student in North Carolina.
In an emotional statement on Friday, Weiner said he “compulsively sought attention from women,” engaging many of them in sexual and non-sexual conversations. He said his behavior started when he entered Congress and it continued through the first six months of 2016.
Weiner issued a tearful apology to the teenager, “I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse.”
Weiner’s attorney, Arlo Devlin-Brown, said in a statement that the former politician “accepted full responsibility for the inappropriate, sexually explicit communications he engaged in early last year. He apologized, offered no excuses, and made a commitment to make amends.”
The British tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail first reported on the explicit texts that prompted the criminal case, based on images and descriptions provided by the teenage girl in North Carolina. The teen stated that Weiner, then 51, carried out sexually explicit conversation for several months with her. Weiner asked the teen to undress and sent her semi clothed photos of himself.
Weiner did not deny that he sent the messages, although he did initially suggest that he had been the victim of a “hoax.”
This is not Weiner’s first sexting scandal. In 2011, while serving in Congress, the disgraced New York congressman, accidentally tweeted a photo of his boxer-clad erection. The photo was shared around the globe and spread like wildfire on social media. Weiner initially claimed he was hacked before admitting that he was trying to send the photo to a woman who was not his wife.
Weiner’s addiction to texting his body parts was the beginning to an end with respect to his political career. He continually sent sexual messages to women, despite promising his family and his supporters that he would stop. To make matters worse, on last year, Weiner stooped to a new level by sending salacious images of himself to a woman while his young son was next to him in bed—and visible in the photo.
Further sinking his political career, this scandal involved sexting with a minor—leading to criminal charges. The sexting case unexpectedly played a prominent role in the election, after investigators examining Weiner’s laptop found some of Abedin’s work emails.
Days before the election, then-FBI Director James Comey announced that the newly discovered emails needed to be examined, as part of the investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server. After reopening the probe, the FBI determined the emails on Weiner’s computer did not change the agency’s decision that no charges should be brought against Clinton.