May 19 (UPI) — Former congressman Anthony Weiner pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday in a sexting case involving a teenage girl.
The 52-year-old former New York representative entered the plea in Manhattan District Court Friday afternoon to a charge of transferring obscene material to a minor. Earlier, he’d surrendered to the FBI.
Federal authorities in January 2016 began investigating reports that Weiner exchanged sexually explicit messages with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl.
“I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse,” he said in court Friday. “I apologize to everyone I have hurt. I apologize to the teenage girl whom I mistreated so badly.”
Prosecutors are expected to recommend a prison sentence of two years but Weiner’s lawyers will likely ask for probation instead, sources said. A judge will determine the final sentence, which could bring up to 10 years.
Weiner represented New York’s 9th congressional district in Brooklyn and Queens for 12 years until he stepped down in 2011 after admitting to sending sexually explicit social media messages and texts to several women.
“We work every day in the FBI and law enforcement to stop adults from preying on vulnerable children. Our partnership with the NYPD cannot be stressed enough in this case,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney, Jr. said in a statement.
In late August, longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin announced she and Weiner were separating after allegations he sent sexually suggestive photos again — this time with an unidentified woman in her 40s described as divorced. Outlets in March reported Abedin and Weiner are attempting to reconcile their marriage.
In September, Weiner suggested he had “likely been the subject of a hoax” after the accusations of sexting with the teen first surfaced.