NEW YORK, N.Y. — Anthony Weiner plead guilty on Friday to sending graphic sexual messages to a 15-year-old girl. The former congressman who represented New York’s 9th district cried as he read a 4 page statement detailing his history sexual compulsion in open court.
“I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse,” Weiner said in his admission to the court. “I apologize to everyone I have hurt. I apologize to the teenage girl, whom I mistreated so badly. 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.”
“I knew this was as morally wrong as it was unlawful.”
“These destructive impulses brought great devastation to my family and friends, and destroyed my life’s dream of public service,” he added.
Weiner, husband of Huma Mahmood Abedin, who served as vice chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, faces up to 27 months in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender as part of a plea deal worked out with federal prosecutors.
Court documents, which were finalized on May 10, show that had the Democrat not copped a plea, he could have faced a much harsher 10-year prison term.
Charges against Weiner first surfaced after a 15-year-old North Carolina girl told a tabloid news site that she and Weiner had exchanged lewd messages for several months. In addition to sending her explicit photos of himself, the messages revealed Weiner’s asking the young girl to to undress on camera.
Last October, after confiscating Weiner’s laptop in the course of their investigation, federal officials discovered of a cache of emails from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to Abedin. The discovery led FBI officials to reopen their case against Clinton’s handling of classified emails while serving in her role as Secretary of State, an incident that Clinton later blamed for her presidential loss to Republican challenger Donald Trump.
Calls for statement to Weiner’s spokesperson resulted in a “no comment”.