Ex-US Rep. Anthony Weiner pleads guilty in sexting case
Ex-US Rep. Anthony Weiner pleads guilty in sexting case
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20 May, 2017, 07:25
Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman from NY, 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 government recommended between 21 and 27 months imprisonment, which Weiner's counsel agreed to, though ultimately it is up to a judge to decide. Weiner will have to register as a sexual offender, according to Bloomberg.
The potential charges stemmed from the sexually charged text messages and Skype conversations he allegedly exchanged with a 15-year-old girl for months last year.
The investigation of his laptop led to the discovery of a cache of emails from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to her aide Huma Abedin, Weiner's wife.
Earlier this year, Weiner's lawyers had reportedly been in talks with federal prosecutors for weeks, angling for a plea deal to avoid the most serious possible charge, production of child pornography, which would have carried a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence. "This fall, I came to grips for the first time with the depths of my sickness".
But it is reported he will admit a single charge of transferring obscene material to a minor, as part of a plea deal with the United States attorney's office in Manhattan, after surrendering to the Federal Bureau of Investigation early Friday morning.
CNN, citing law enforcement officials, reported last September that prosecutors in the office of then-US Attorney Preet Bharara issued a subpoena for Weiner's cell phone and other records as part of an investigation into alleged "sexting" with a purportedly underage girl.
A testy Weiner insisted to reporters at the time that his account had been hacked.
In a release, acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim called Weiner's conduct "reprehensible", saying he sent sexually explicit images and directions to engage in sexual conduct to a girl he knew was 15. "Sentencing has been scheduled for September 8, 2017, at 11 a.m". Abedin, who was not present at Friday's hearing, has filed for divorce from Weiner, a source familiar with the matter told CNN Friday.
Weiner quickly left the Manhattan courthouse after the proceedings, being hustled into a waiting vehicle and taking no questions from the throngs of reporters.
The FBI began investigating Weiner in September after the 15-year-old North Carolina girl told a tabloid news site, the Daily Mail, that she and the disgraced former politician had exchanged lewd messages for several months.
Clinton has blamed her loss to Republican Donald Trump in part on Comey's announcement, even though Comey said two days before the election in November that the review had uncovered no new evidence.
Two years later, determined to revive his political career, he ran for mayor of NY, but further sexts and photos were published, posted under the alias "Carlos Danger". A message left with a representative for Abedin seeking comment Friday morning was not immediately returned.
His failed mayoral bid is the subject of the documentary "Weiner".
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