Anthony Weiner expected to plead guilty in ‘sexting’ case

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“I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse”, he said, according to the wire service.

The embattled former Democratic congressman entered a guilty plea at a Manhattan federal court.

“I had hit bottom”, Weiner said. He must register as a sex offender.

The charge carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison, but could involve no jail time depending on the determination of a judge. As part of his plea deal, he has agreed not to appeal any sentence of 27 months or less, Reuters says. He was then released on bail until his September 8 sentencing. Ultimately, the judge will decide Weiner’s punishment.

Weiner also apologized to the teenage girl. “And yet I remained in denial even as the world around me fell apart”.

Weiner said he began getting mental health treatment in the fall, when he said he “came to grips for the first time with the depths of my sickness”. He said he continues to follow the treatment daily.

Weiner apologized to “everyone I have hurt”, including the girl he “mistreated so badly”.

Finished speaking, he wiped his eyes with tissues.

Weiner was already in federal custody ahead of the court hearing, which was scheduled for at 11 a.m.

It reported that the messages, which began when the girl was a sophomore in high school, indicated Weiner knew she was a minor.

The charge relates to Weiner’s “sexting” scandal in which he exchanged sexually explicit text messages with a 15-years old girl last year. She said that Weiner, then 51, carried out a monthslong sexually explicit conversation with her in which he asked her to undress and sent her semiclothed photos of himself.

A message left with a representative for Abedin seeking comment Friday morning was not returned. He added that Weiner remains “focused on his recovery”.

The investigation led to the discovery of emails which Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had sent to Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin.

On Oct. 28, a week and a half before the election, the Federal Bureau of Investigation told Congress that it was reopening an inquiry into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State because investigators found her emails on Weiner’s laptop, which had been seized in the sexting case.

That inquiry was brief. On Oct. 28, former FBI Director James Comey sent a letter informing Congress that agents were reviewing the emails “to determine whether they contain classified information” relevant to a separate investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State. Clinton later blamed Comey’s actions for her loss to Donald Trump in the election.

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