Anthony Weiner gets 21 months in prison in sexting case

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New York (CNN) – Former Rep. Anthony Weiner was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison for sexting with a minor.
In addition to the prison term, Weiner also was sentenced to three years of supervised release.
“This is a serious crime that deserves serious punishment,” Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York said.

In May, Weiner, 53, pleaded guilty to one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor in federal court in Manhattan. The charges stem from communications that the former congressman had with a 15-year-old girl on social media sites between January and March 2016. Weiner is the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s former adviser.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Prosecutors recommended a sentence of 21 to 27 months in jail, arguing Weiner’s pattern of behavior “suggests a dangerous level of denial and lack of self-control warranting a meaningful incarceratory sentence.” Defense attorneys asked that Weiner receive probation.

The 15-year-old girl initially contacted Weiner through a direct message on Twitter in January 2016. Weiner and the girl continued to communicate on social media sites, including Facebook Messenger, Skype, Kik, Confide and Snapchat. The last three messaging applications delete images and messages after users view them.

Weiner asked the teen 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,” prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum. Weiner was fully aware of the girl’s age when they were communicating, prosecutors said.

Weiner’s attorneys said his crimes were a “product of sickness” and maintained he wasn’t a sexual predator.
“He responded as a weak man, at the bottom of a self-destructive spiral, and with an addict’s self-serving delusion that the communications were all just Internet fantasy,” the defense wrote.

“I knew this was as morally wrong, as it was unlawful,” Weiner said in his guilty plea in court. “This fall, I came to grips for the first time with the depths of my sickness. I had hit bottom.”

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