Anthony Weiner to Plead Guilty in Sexting Case, Faces Possible Prison Sentence

Anthony Weiner
Anthony Weiner / AP
May 19, 2017

Anthony Weiner will plead guilty Friday to a charge of transferring obscene material to a minor to resolve the latest "sexting" scandal for the former congressman, the New York Times reports.

He surrendered to the FBI on Friday.

The charges stem from a report, first broken by the Daily Mail's Alana Goodman, that Weiner had a months-long online sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl in 2016.

Weiner, the estranged husband of top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, could face up to 10 years in prison, but he could also get no jail time at all. According to the report, a likely result is he will have to become a registered sex offender:

Mr. Weiner will plead guilty to a single charge of transferring obscene material to a minor, pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan, one of the people said. Mr. Weiner surrendered to the F.B.I. early Friday morning.

The federal authorities have been investigating reports that, beginning in January 2016, Mr. Weiner, then 51, exchanged sexually explicit messages with a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.

The plea covers conduct by Mr. Weiner from January through March of last year, the person said. A likely result of the plea is that Mr. Weiner would end up as a registered sex offender, although a final determination has yet to be made, the person added.

The charge carries a potential sentence of between zero and 10 years in prison, meaning Mr. Weiner could avoid prison. The ultimate sentence would be determined by a judge.

Weiner's sexting habits wound up affecting Clinton in her 2016 presidential bid. It was during the investigation into Weiner's illicit relationship that federal agents seized his computer and discovered thousands of Clinton emails forwarded there by Abedin.

That led to then-FBI Director James Comey informing Congress on Oct. 28 that the bureau was again investigating Clinton's private email server use. Clinton has publicly blamed Comey's letter for contributing to her loss to Donald Trump.

Weiner, a Democrat, was first elected to Congress in 1998 to represent New York's 9th district. He resigned in 2011 after revelations that he sexted with numerous women. 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.