BY JON CRONIN
Anthony Weiner, a former congressman for Queens, pleaded guilty on May 18 in Manhattan Federal Court to one count of transferring obscenity to a minor.
Although the charge comes with a 10-year sentence, Weiner, 52, agreed not to appeal a sentence between 21 and 27 months.
Weiner was released on $150,000 bail and will have to register as a sex offender. His sentencing is scheduled for September 8 at 11 a.m.
“Today, former Congressman Anthony Weiner admitted and pled guilty to sending sexually explicit images and directions to engage in sexual conduct to a girl he knew to be 15 years old,” said Joon H. Kim, the acting U.S. attorney for Manhattan.
“Weiner’s conduct was not only reprehensible, but a federal crime, one for which he is now convicted and will be sentenced.”
Weiner openly wept in court as he said, “I knew this was as morally wrong as it was unlawful.” He must undergo mental health counseling while out on bail, according to previously published reports.
“These destructive impulses brought great devastation to my family and friends and destroyed my life’s dream in public service,” he said. “Yet, I remained in denial even as the world around me fell apart.”
The three-month online relationship occurred between January and March 2016. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Weiner “used online messaging and video chat applications to communicate with a minor girl he knew to be 15 years old.”
He was caught in September 2016 for having an online affair with a 15-year-old North Carolina high school student. The former congressman had sent her lewd photos of himself and gave her “direction to engage in sexual conduct,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office southern District of New York.
Weiner was initially caught for having sexual online relationships with women he met through social media in 2011 when a he sent a sexually explicit photo of himself to a woman following him on Twitter. He was caught a second time in the summer of 2013—during his second bid for mayor—after having sent sexually explicit emails to a woman under the name “Carlos Danger.”
The woman was later revealed to be adult film star Syndey Leather, who was living in Indiana.
In the summer of 2016, The Daily Mail broke a story in which Weiner had sent a revealing photo of himself to a woman with his 4-year-old son sleeping next to him. Later that year, his laptop was seized by the FBI during the investigation and emails from his wife, Huma Abedin, a former Hillary Clinton aide, were found on the laptop. She had forwarded Clinton’s emails to her husband during the campaign. Those emails provoked then-FBI Director James Comey to reopen the investigation into Clinton’s emails just weeks before the election.
After this third scandal, Abedin left him and, last week, filed for divorce. Weiner and Abedin originally met in 2001 in Martha’s Vineyard and were married nine years later in a New York wedding officiated by former President Bill Clinton. They have a 5-year-old son.
Weiner was elected to the City Council in 1991 and served as the representative for the 48th district from 1992 to December 1998.
He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998 and served as a congressman from 1999 to 2011. Weiner made unsuccessful bids to become the mayor of New York City in 2005 and 2013.
Reach Jon Cronin at 718-357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin.