Former New York congressman and mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor. Although Weiner initially faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, prosecutors requested that he serve between 21 and 27 months according to his plea deal.
Representing New York’s 9th congressional district from 1999 to 2011, Weiner resigned in disgrace after several explicit photos and messages became public that had been exchanged between Weiner and other women. While running for mayor of New York City two years later, another sexting scandal became public that revealed the name of Weiner’s favorite alias: “Carlos Danger.”
Between January and March 2016, Weiner began communicating online with a 15-year-old girl who had informed him that she was a high school student and a minor. Primarily communicating over Facebook messenger, Skype, Kik, Confide, and Snapchat, Weiner sent sexually explicit material to the girl in exchange for nude images of herself.
“Anthony Weiner, a former congressman and candidate for mayor, asked a girl who he knew to be 15 years old to display her naked body and engage in sexually explicit behavior for him online. Justice demands that this type of conduct be prosecuted and punished with time in prison,” Joon Kim, the acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement Monday.
Despite the fact that Weiner did not seek to meet her in person until she turned 18 years old, the former congressman admitted to sending her requests to undress and record images of the minor touching herself. On May 19, Weiner pled guilty to one count of transferring obscenity to a minor and must register as a sex offender.
On Monday, Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison with three years of supervised release. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote ordered Weiner to forfeit his iPhone and pay a $10,000 fine.
“This is a serious crime that deserves serious punishment,” Judge Cote declared while sentencing the disgraced congressman. “She was a minor. She was a victim. She is entitled to the law’s full protection.”
After filing for separation in August 2016, Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, reportedly filed for divorce on the same day as his guilty plea. Vice-chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, Abedin and Clinton became the subjects of a federal investigation last year while the FBI searched Weiner’s laptop for incriminating evidence. Clinton later blamed then-FBI Director James Comey for costing her the election.
According to Clinton’s new book “What Happened,” Abedin appeared devastated after hearing the news that Clinton’s emails had been discovered on the laptop. Clinton recalled, “‘This man is going to be the death of me,’ [Huma] said, bursting into tears.”
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