Former US Rep. Anthony Weiner faces charges in sexting case

Ivan Schwartz
May 20, 2017

Weiner was accused in January 2016 of exchanging inappropriate messages with a 15-year-old girl from North Carolina. Prosecutors declined to immediately release additional details about the charges against him. The guilty plea would likely mean Weiner will have to register a sex offender.

Weiner's expected guilty plea is part of a plea agreement.

The charge carries a potential sentence of zero to 10 years in prison.

The Democratic former congressman apologized to the 15-year-old, saying, "I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse".

The probe into his exchanges with the teenage girl, however, also helped upend the final days of the 2016 USA presidential campaign.

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As part of his plea, Weiner agreed to forfeit his iPhone. It's the end of practically any remaining hope for Weiner to ever work in politics again. Weiner's brother was the only family in court to watch as he said he "hit bottom" and began therapy. Federal agents seized Weiner's laptop and other electronics, on which they found emails belonging to Huma Abedin, Weiner's then-wife and a close aide to Hillary Clinton.

According to NBC News, numerous media outlets published transcripts of sexually explicit conversations that took place between Weiner and young women he met online. Days before the November presidential election, now-former FBI director James Comey told Congress about the FBI investigation into emails between Clinton and her aides, The Times reported a year ago.

The inquiry was brief and Mr Comey announced shortly before the election that the new emails contained nothing to change his view that Mrs Clinton could not be charged with a crime, but she partly blamed her loss to Republican Donald Trump on Mr Comey's announcement. He attempted a career comeback in 2013 when he ran for New York City mayor, but that bid also collapsed after it came to light that his sexting behavior continued.

Trump fired Comey days later amid the FBI's probe into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation to defeat Clinton, an allegation he has vehemently denied.

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