Photographs by ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE — New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner leaves his apartment building in New York on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Originally published May 19, 2017 at 08:16a.m., updated May 19, 2017 at 04:52p.m.
NEW YORK — Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose penchant for sexting strangers ended his political career and sparked an investigation during the presidential race, pleaded guilty Friday to a sex charge, tearfully apologizing for communications with a 15-year-old girl that he said destroyed his "life's dream in public service."
Weiner, who could go to prison, pleaded guilty to a single count of transmitting obscene material to a minor. He admitted exchanging online messages with the girl beginning in January 2015 and "sharing explicit images and encouraging her to engage in sexually explicit conduct."
"I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse," he said.
In court, the 52-year-old former Democratic congressman paused repeatedly as he fought back tears and tried to compose himself. He said he knew the texting was "as morally wrong as it was unlawful."
Pleading to the charge, which requires him to register as a sex offender, could bring a sentence of up to 10 years. But Weiner is likely to serve a much shorter term if he is sentenced to prison. He signed a plea agreement with prosecutors in which he agreed not to appeal any sentence between 21 and 27 months in prison. His lawyer can request leniency at a sentencing scheduled for Sept. 8.
Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.