Monday 23 April 2018

Ex-US congressman Weiner jailed for 'sexting' with girl (15)

Anthony Weiner. Photo: Getty Images
Anthony Weiner. Photo: Getty Images

Nick Allen

Anthony Weiner, the former congressman, was sentenced to 21 months in prison yesterday over a sexting scandal that set off a chain of events which Hillary Clinton claimed cost her the US presidency.

The charge, over messages exchanged with a 15-year-old girl, marked a fall from grace for Weiner, a Democrat politician married to Huma Abedin, Mrs Clinton's top aide.

Weiner's habit of sending sexual messages to strangers on social media destroyed his career in the US House of Representatives, his campaign to be mayor of New York, and his marriage.

The scandal that enveloped him also triggered a key event in the presidential election. Eleven days before the vote James Comey, the then-FBI director, announced that emails discovered on a laptop used by Weiner had led him to reopen an earlier high-profile investigation into Mrs Clinton's use of a private computer server while she was secretary of state. Mrs Clinton has blamed the negative publicity surrounding that decision for her defeat.

In a Manhattan court, Weiner (53) wept as he was told to surrender to prison officials by November 6, and that he would be on the sex offenders register for life. He will serve three years of supervised probation after being released. Weiner had previously pleaded guilty to one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor.

He wore his wedding ring in court but Ms Abedin, with whom he has a five-year-old son, has filed for divorce and was not present.

In a statement to the court before sentencing Weiner broke down in tears, saying he had reached "rock bottom". He said: "I was a very sick man for a very long time but I'm also responsible for the damage I have done. I have a disease but no excuse." (© Daily Telegraph London)

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