On Monday, Anthony Weiner was finally handed his sentence for for sexting an under-age girl. He cried and held his head in his hands as his sentence was delivered by the Manhattan judge.
The former Democrat Congressman will serve 21 months in prison, and will undergo three years of supervised release afterward. Weiner will also have to pay a fine of $10,000, according to the Washington Examiner.
Federal prosecutors were seeking a sentence of more than 24 months in prison. Weiner’s defense had argued for probation. US District Judge Denise L. Cote said, in her statement on the decision, “This is a serious crime that deserves serious punishment.”
Weiner had agreed not to appeal any sentence between 21 and 27 months in prison. The judge gave him the lightest penalty in this range. Fox News reports that, as part of his sentencing, Weiner must surrender his iPhone and must register as a sex offender.
In May, Weiner pled guilty to one count of transferring obscene material to a minor. He explained to the victim, a 15-year-old girl from North Carolina, “what he would do to her if she were 18.”
The minor had explained to Weiner she was in high school, but he sent her pornography, chatted with her over video and through messaging apps. He had also convinced the child to take off her clothes over Skype.
As part of the proceedings, Weiner made a statement where he referred to his sexting as a”sickness” which he had sought “intensive treatment” for. He argues his “disease” is not an “excuse” for his behavior.
“I have compulsively sought attention from women who contacted me on social media, and I engaged with many of them in both sexual and non-sexual conversation,” Weiner said in May. “These destructive impulses brought great devastation to my family and friends, and destroyed my life’s dream of public service.”
Hours after his confession, Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin filed for divorce. Abedin was a top aide to Hillary Clinton, who lost the 2016 presidential election. During the investigation into Weiner’s crimes, the FBI found several copies of classified materials on a laptop shared by Weiner and his former wife, according to a report from the Washington Post.
During his confession, Weiner apologized to Abedin and his family. He also apologized to his victim, laying the blame on his “destructive impulses” and not her.
Yet, Weiner’s defense characterized the victim as seeking out his abuse, arguing she was collecting material for a book and may have wanted that book to influence the 2016 presidential election.
“Today, Anthony Weiner received a just sentence that was appropriate for his crime,” argued US Attorney Joon H. Kim. “Anthony Weiner, a former Congressman and candidate for Mayor, asked a girl who he knew to be 15 years old to display her naked body and engage in sexually explicit behavior for him online. Justice demands that this type of conduct be prosecuted and punished with time in prison,” Kim stated.
By Nov. 6, Weiner must surrender to prison. He will receive individual therapy and group therapy weekly. He will also attend 12-step program meetings four to five times per week.