Anthony Weiner pleads guilty in court to sexting a teenager

The former high-flyer may have to register a sex offender

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Friday 19 May 2017 13:49 BST
Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner gives an interview
Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner gives an interview (Rex)

Disgraced former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner has pleaded guilty to a charge of sending obscene material to a teenager, after federal authorities launched a “sexting” investigation.

The former political high-flyer and estranged husband of senior Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, wept in a New York court and apolologised to the 15-year-old girl.

“I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse,” said the 52-year-old. He had pleaded guilty to a single charge as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors in New York.

The FBI has been investigating reports that, beginning in January 2016, Mr Weiner, then 51, exchanged sexually explicit messages with a teenage girl in North Carolina.

Mr Weiner, who twice ran unsuccessfully to be New York mayor, could be obliged to register as a convicted sex offender.

The New York Times said the plea agreement covers conduct by Mr Weiner from January through March of last year. A likely result of the plea is that he may have to register as a sex offender, although a final determination has yet to be made. The Associated Press said he agreed to not appeal any sentence between 21 and 27 months in prison.

The FBI began investigating Mr Weiner in September after the North Carolina girl told a tabloid news site that she and the disgraced former politician had exchanged lewd messages for several months. She also accused him of asking her to undress on camera.

The Associated Press, said the investigation led FBI agents to seize his laptop computer, which led to the discovery of a new cache of emails that Democratic presidential candidate Ms Clinton had sent to Ms Abedin.

In October, just days before the election, FBI director James Comey stunned the country by announcing that his agency was reopening its closed investigation into Ms Clinton's handling of State Department business on a private email server so it could analyse the newly discovered correspondence.

Mr Comey announced shortly before the election that the new emails contained nothing to change his view that Ms Clinton could not be charged with a crime. But Ms Clinton partly blamed her election loss to Republican Donald Trump on Mr Comey’s announcement.

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