Anthony Weiner Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison for Sexting Charge

Anthony Weiner / Getty
September 25, 2017

Former New York congressman Anthony Weiner has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for sexting with an underage girl.

The Democrat and soon-to-be ex-husband of top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin pleaded guilty in May to a charge of transferring obscene material to a minor. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 21 to 27 months for a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Weiner "burst into tears" when the sentence was announced, according to a reporter.

Weiner exchanged sexually explicit messages with the girl for months beginning in January of 2016. This sexting relationship came after he had already been forced to resign from Congress in 2011 and seen his New York City mayoral bid derail in 2013 over similar behavior.

Prosecutors said this was not a mere "sexting" case, the Daily Mail reported:

The government had urged the judge to put Weiner's claims of a therapeutic awakening in a context of a man who made similar claims after embarrassing, widely publicized interactions with adult women in the past.

'This is not merely a 'sexting' case,' prosecutors wrote. 'The defendant did far more than exchange typed words on a lifeless cellphone screen with a faceless stranger.

'With full knowledge that he was communicating with a real 15-year-old girl, the defendant asked her to engage in sexually explicit conduct via Skype and Snapchat, where her body was on display, and where she was asked to sexually perform for him.

'That offense – transmitting obscenity to a minor to induce her to engage in sexually explicit conduct by video chat and photo – is far from mere 'sexting'.

'Weiner's criminal conduct was very serious, and the sentence imposed should reflect that seriousness.'

Weiner pleaded for leniency earlier this month, saying he was seeking treatment for his behavior and noting he had already torpedoed his wife's career.

The bizarre saga had a major effect on the 2016 presidential campaign. After the Daily Mail reported on the relationship last September, a criminal investigation was launched, and authorities found thousands of Clinton's emails forwarded to his computer by Abedin.

Then-FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress about the development on Oct. 28, which Clinton has said cost her the election against Donald Trump.