Ex-congressman Anthony Weiner pleads guilty to sexting case

Weiner leaving court after the plea deal was reachedImage copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Weiner leaving court after pleading guilty

Former New York congressman Anthony Weiner has tearfully pleaded guilty to sending obscene material to a minor.

The charge stems from sexually charged text messages he exchanged with a 15-year-old girl last year.

Weiner, 52, stepped down from his congressional seat in 2011 over a sex scandal and was again exposed during his 2013 bid for New York mayor.

The judge told him he will have to register as a sex offender.

Weiner’s estranged wife Huma Abedin reportedly filed for divorce from him on Friday, according to New York media.

He entered his plea earlier in the day at a Manhattan court and was released on bail, pending sentencing on 8 September.

Image copyright

As part of his plea agreement, federal prosecutors said they would consider a term between 21-27 months “fair and appropriate”.

Weiner cried in court while apologising to the girl he sexted with, saying: “I have a sickness, but I don’t have an excuse.”

Acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon H Kim praised the work of the FBI and the special victims’ division of the New York City Police Department.

“Weiner’s conduct was not only reprehensible, but a federal crime, one for which he is now convicted and will be sentenced,” Mr Kim said.

Weiner’s sexting scandal made headlines during last year’s US presidential election.

Image copyright

Image caption

Anthony Weiner (L) and Huma Abedin split last year

During an investigation, FBI officials found emails on Weiner’s laptop from his ex-wife, Ms Abedin, who was a top aide to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

An FBI investigation into Mrs Clinton’s private use of email while she was secretary of state was closed after officials said nothing incriminating was found.

Anthony Weiner: Behind the scenes of a political marriage

The FBI began investigating Weiner last September after the Daily Mail reported that he exchanged lewd messages with a teen from North Carolina for several months.

The newspaper, which did not identify the girl, suggested that Weiner knew she was under age at the time.

The girl’s father told the Daily Mail after the deal was announced: “I don’t know if it’s justice… Just because he’s pleading guilty doesn’t mean he’s going to do a bit of time.”

The girl also accused him of asking her to undress on camera.

Media captionAnthony Weiner: “You’re my judge? What rabbi taught you that?”

A month earlier, Ms Abedin announced she was separating from her husband after a report emerged that he allegedly sent a photo of himself in his underpants with his toddler son nearby.

The New York Post reported that Weiner sent sexual messages along with the alleged photo to an unidentified woman in 2015.

Once a rising Democratic star, he stepped down from Congress in June 2011 after a graphic image sent from his Twitter account went public.

Initially claiming his account was hacked, he eventually confessed to having lied.

Weiner also admitted indulging in explicit online exchanges with at least six other women and pledged to seek therapy.

He tried to revive his political career in 2013 by running for mayor of New York.

But his campaign imploded amid reports of further graphic online messages.

Ex-congressman Anthony Weiner pleads guilty to sexting case

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *