Anthony Weiner has finally pleaded guilty to sending sexually explicit messages to a 15-year-old girl and has agreed to serving prison time, capping a staggering downfall for the former Congressman and resolving a case that played a major role in the 2016 presidential election.
Weiner admitted to a criminal count of transmitting obscene material to a minor in a hearing Friday in Manhattan federal court. As a result, Weiner must register as a sex offender anywhere he lives, studies, or works, and will forfeit his iPhone.
An FBI investigation into Weiner’s sexually explicit messages turned up emails that had been sent to his wife, Huma Abedin, then Hillary Clinton’s closest aide.
Weiner told U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska he has a “sickness” that caused him to compulsively engage in sex chats with underage girls on social media.
“I destroyed my life’s dream of public service,” Weiner, choking up, told U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan.
“I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse,” he said, while tearing up. “I apologize to everyone I have hurt. I apologize to the teenage girl, who I mistreated so badly.”
“These destructive impulses brought great devastation to family and friends, and destroyed my life’s dream of public service,” said a tearful Weiner, his voice frequently breaking from emotion. “And yet, I remained in denial even as the world around me fell apart.”
10 YEARS IN JAIL
Weiner faces as much as 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced Sept. 8. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors will seek a term of 21 months to 27 months, which isn’t binding on the sentencing judge.
The FBI opened a criminal probe of Weiner in September, after a 15-year-old girl from North Carolina told a tabloid that the two traded prurient messages and he’d asked her to strip on camera.
In court Friday, Weiner said, “I knew this was as morally wrong as it was unlawful.”
“I was contacted by, and began exchanging online messages with, a stranger who said that she was a high school student and who I understood to be 15 years old,” he said, adding: “I engaged in obscene communications with this teenager, including sharing explicit images and encouraging her to engage in sexually explicit conduct, just as I had done and continued to do with adult women.”
In one message, Weiner told the girl, “I would bust that tight pussy so hard and so often that you would leak and limp for a week.”
Weiner also expressed a desire to engage in rape fantasy with the girl and dress her up in “school girl” uniforms. You can see the screenshots and photos at the Daily Mail.
“I have repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgment about the people I have communicated with online and the things I have sent,” Weiner told Daily Mail. “I am filled with regret and heartbroke for those I have hurt.”