Ex-US lawmaker jailed for lewd texts with teen

Anthony Weiner was sentenced yesterday to 21 months in jail. In a letter to the judge, he said he felt "profound" regret.
Anthony Weiner was sentenced yesterday to 21 months in jail. In a letter to the judge, he said he felt "profound" regret.

NEW YORK • Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former New York congressman who became caught up in a scandal over his exchange of lewd texts with a 15-year-old girl, was sentenced yesterday to 21 months in jail.

Weiner, 53, had pleaded guilty to one count of transferring obscene material to a minor and had faced up to 10 years' jail.

His lawyers had asked Judge Denise Cote of the US District Court in Manhattan for probation for their client, citing what they described as Weiner's "remarkable progress" over the past year.

In his own letter to the judge, Weiner said he felt "profound" regret for his crime, adding that his "continued acting out over years crushed the aspirations" of his wife, Ms Huma Abedin, "and ruined our marriage".

Federal prosecutors, in their own memo to the judge, had argued that probation was "simply inadequate" and that Weiner deserved prison. The government recommended a sentence within the range of 21 to 27 months.

"Although the defendant's self-destructive path from United States congressman to felon is indisputably sad", the prosecutors wrote, "his crime is serious and his demonstrated need for deterrence is real".

Weiner's sentencing was yet another chapter in his long and tortuous downfall. In 2011, Weiner, a Democrat who had represented parts of Queens and Brooklyn, was forced to resign from Congress after an explicit picture, posted from his Twitter account, surfaced.

On May 19, the day he pleaded guilty in the lewd texting case, Ms Abedin, a senior aide to Mrs Hillary Clinton, filed for divorce. In a one-page letter to the judge, Ms Abedin had asked for leniency on behalf of their son. She did not attend the sentencing.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2017, with the headline 'Ex-US lawmaker jailed for lewd texts with teen'. Print Edition | Subscribe