Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner has admitted exchanging sexually explicit text messages with a 15-year-old girl.
Weiner, 52, surrendered Friday morning and was taken to Manhattan federal court, where he pleaded guilty to a charge of transferring obscene material to a minor.
Weiner cried in court as he apologized to the teen saying, “I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse.”
The judge told him he would have to register as a sex offender.
He has been released on bail pending his sentencing, which has been set for Sept. 8. He could face a fine and anywhere from no time in prison to up to 10 years. Weiner agreed to not appeal any sentence between 21 and 27 months in prison.
“Weiner’s conduct was not only reprehensible, but a federal crime, one for which he is now convicted and will be sentenced,” Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said in a statement.
A 15-year-old North Carolina girl claimed in a published report last September that Weiner sent her shirtless photos of himself and more graphic messages, even though she made it clear she is underage.
The report appeared in Britain’s Daily Mail and claimed that the two traded sexually charged messages for several months.
At the time, Weiner said: “I have repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgment about the people I have communicated with online and the things I have sent,” he said. “I am filled with regret and heartbroken for those I hurt. While I have provided the Daily Mail with information showing that I have likely been the subject of a hoax, I have no one to blame but me for putting myself in this position. I am sorry.”
The revelations came a month after photos surfaced of Weiner sexting a woman while his 4-year-old son was sleeping in his bed.
Shortly afterward, Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, announced her separation from Weiner. The separation occurred after photos of another sexting scandal appeared in the New York Post.
The investigation into Weiner’s online communications led FBI agents to seize his laptop computer, which led to the discovery of a new cache of emails that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had sent to Abedin, her aide.
In October, just days before the election, FBI director James Comey stunned the country by announcing that his agency was reopening its closed investigation into Clinton’s handling of State Department business on a private email server so it could analyze the newly discovered correspondence.
That inquiry was brief. Comey announced shortly before the election that the new emails contained nothing to change his view that Clinton could not be charged with a crime. But Clinton partly blamed her election loss to Republican Donald Trump on Comey’s announcement.
Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 in the wake of a sexting scandal. In 2013, he mounted a bid for mayor, but became embroiled in a second scandal and lost the Democratic primary to Mayor Bill de Blasio.