Disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner pleaded guilty on Friday in federal court to a charge of transferring obscene material to a minor, as he cried and apologized to the teenager with whom he exchanged sexually explicit texts.
The judge accepted Weiner’s guilty plea. Weiner agreed to not appeal any sentence between 21 and 27 months in prison.
“I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse,” the former Democratic congressman said as he apologized.
The judge reportedly told Weiner that he would have to register as a sex offender.
The FBI began investigating Weiner in September after a 15-year-old North Carolina girl told a tabloid news site that she and the former politician had exchanged lewd messages for several months.
She also accused him of asking her to undress on camera.
The New York Times first reported that the former New York Democratic congressman would enter the plea Friday in Manhattan.
The plea covers conduct from January to March of 2016. The charge reportedly carries a potential sentence ranging up to 10 years in prison – though the former congressman also could avoid prison entirely.
The outspoken politician resigned from Congress in 2011 after an errant tweet ended up exposing his sexting habits. He later mounted an unsuccessful run for New York City mayor.
But the scandal, first reported by the Daily Mail, exposed that he had been sending explicit messages to a minor, the controversy took a turn into criminal territory.
The investigation infamously intersected last year with the 2016 presidential campaign, when agents seized devices and found emails between Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin, Weiner’s estranged wife and a top Clinton adviser.
This discovery led the FBI to revisit the case of Clinton’s personal email use as secretary of state – while the case was again shuttered, Clinton has since cited that development as contributing to her defeat.
Sources: The Associated Press and FOX News