NEW YORK, NY — September 25, 2017, Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York sentenced the disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, 53, to 21 months in federal prison for sexting with a minor. In addition to the prison term, the judge sentenced him to three years of supervised release, probation terms requiring him to register as a sex offender, and outpatient sexual offender treatment.
In May 2017, the former congressman pleaded guilty to one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor. The charges stem from communications that he had with a 15-year-old girl on social media sites between January and March 2016. Moreover, as Judge Cote noted, at the time, while Weiner was communicating with the minor girl, he was “in contact with 19 other women.”
In January 2016, the 15-year-old girl at the center of the controversy initially contacted Weiner through a direct message on Twitter. Over the next few months, Weiner and the girl continued to communicate on social media sites, including Skype, Facebook Messenger, and other messaging applications that delete images or messages after being viewed.
For those that felt the young girl was to blame, Judge Cote sent a reminder that it is irrelevant that the girl contacted Weiner first, what mattered was Weiner’s unlawful conduct that followed. “The laws fully protect her,” Judge Cote said.
Regarding his obscene sexual conduct, Weiner stated in open court, “This crime was my rock bottom… I have no excuse… I victimized a young person who deserved better.”
In determining his sentencing, Judge Cote stated that Weiner’s sentence carried more importance because of his previous political career.
“Because of the defendant’s notoriety, there is intense interest in the defendant’s plea and sentence,” Cote said in court. “It could make a difference in lives and is a very significant part of this sentence… This is a serious crime that deserves serious punishment.”
Nevertheless, Weiner, sobbing as the sentence was handing down, was spared the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Weiner’s defense attorney stated, “We are, of course, disappointed that Anthony was sentenced to prison, particularly so given that Judge Cote found that the treatment program Anthony had engaged in for the past year was showing great promise and should be continued… Judge Cote reasoned that because of Anthony’s notoriety, a sentence of imprisonment could discourage others from following in his footsteps. We certainly hope this public service message is received, but it has resulted in a punishment more severe than it had to be given the unusual facts and circumstances of this case.”
Just as sexting minors is a form of unlawful sexual conduct, so can sexting in the workplace. The skilled New York City sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC, have years of experience litigating claims of sexual harassment in New York City. Working together with our Philadelphia sexual harassment attorneys, we have garnered multi-million dollar settlements on behalf of our clients. If you feel you are a survivor or sexual harassment in the workplace, please give our talented attorneys a call at (800) 807-2209 for your free consultation.