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September 21, 2017

Federal prosecutors say Anthony Weiner merits years in prison for his online sexual offense

As reported in this AP piece, headlined "Government: Prison fits Weiner's sex crime on teen victim," federal prosecutors have filed their sentencing recommendation in the Anthony Weiner case. Here are the details:

Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner is more than a serial digital philanderer — he's a danger to the public who deserves two years in prison for encouraging a 15-year-old girl to engage in online sex acts, prosecutors told a judge Wednesday. A Manhattan judge is scheduled to sentence the New York Democrat on Monday for transferring obscene material to a minor.

The government urged the judge to put Weiner's claims of a therapeutic awakening in a context of a man who made similar claims after embarrassing, widely publicized interactions with adult women before encountering the teenager online in January 2016. Prosecutors said his conduct "suggests a dangerous level of denial and lack of self-control."

"This is not merely a 'sexting' case," prosecutors wrote. "The defendant did far more than exchange typed words on a lifeless cellphone screen with a faceless stranger. ... Transmitting obscenity to a minor to induce her to engage in sexually explicit conduct by video chat and photo — is far from mere 'sexting.' Weiner's criminal conduct was very serious, and the sentence imposed should reflect that seriousness."

Weiner, 53, said in a submission last week that he's undergoing treatment and is profoundly sorry for subjecting the North Carolina high school student to what his lawyers called his "deep sickness." Prosecutors attacked some of Weiner's arguments for seeking leniency and noted his full awareness beforehand of his crime, citing his co-sponsorship in January 2007 of a bill to require sex offenders to register their email and instant message addresses with the National Sex Offender Registry....

The government said Weiner's "widely-reported prior scandals" were not criminal in nature and did not involve minors but should be considered at sentencing because they reveal a familiar pattern. "He initially denied his conduct; he suffered personal and professional consequences; he publicly apologized and claimed reform. Yet, he has, on multiple occasions, continued to engage in the very conduct he swore off, progressing from that which is self-destructive to that which is also destructive to a teenage girl," prosecutors said.  They added: "Weiner's demonstrated history of professed, yet failed, reform make it difficult to rely on his present claim of self-awareness and transformation."

Defense lawyers had portrayed the girl as an aggressor, saying she wanted to generate material for a book and possibly influence the presidential election. Prosecutors responded that Weiner should be sentenced for what he did, and his victim's motives should not influence his punishment. A defense lawyer declined to comment Wednesday.

In a plea bargain, Weiner has agreed not to appeal any sentence between 21 and 27 months.  Prosecutors said the sentence should fall within that span, and they noted that Probation Office authorities had recommended a 27-month prison term.

Prior related posts:

September 21, 2017 at 09:21 AM | Permalink


Does he have to register as a sex offender, like everyone else?

Posted by: kat | Sep 21, 2017 9:50:42 AM

It seems like Weiner received a relatively sweet deal. Based on the allegations, it sounds like he could have been charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child and Attempted, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a). The following elements apply:
(1) that the defendant believed during the time period alleged in the indictment that the child named in the indictment was under the age of eighteen; (2) that the defendant attempted to use, persuade, induce, entice, or coerce that child to engage in sexually explicit conduct as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2256(2); (3) that the defendant voluntarily and intentionally engaged in this behavior for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct; and (4) that the materials used to attempt to produce the visual depiction were mailed, shipped, or transported, including by computer, in interstate or foreign commerce. United States v. Pierson, 544 F.3d 933, 938 (8th Cir. 2008). A conviction under this statute carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years!

Posted by: Matt Robinson | Sep 21, 2017 9:51:58 AM

Yeah, I think most of these hands-off deals are severely over-punished, in the context of online misbehavior, he's getting off light even with 2 years.

Posted by: Fat Bastard | Sep 21, 2017 12:24:18 PM

Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo. Ding.

You lawyers are nuts, delusional, in denial.

15 year olds are adults, according to biology, the adulthood rituals of the world's religions, and 10000 years of human civilization.

Kids, age 13, are taught the graphic, technical details of butt banging in junior high sex ed. You morons should arrest those teachers and the school boards for forcing little kids to watch, sick, perverted, homosexual propaganda. This practice spreads AIDS, and killed 40 million people, you morons.

Is a picture of the human body obscene? I do not think so.

These 13 year olds have been watching gross out, puke inducing porn since age 9, and could teach the course on butt banging.

Close to half of them have sexted each other. The other half received sexting of kids and early teens. So arrest all kids, if you want to prosecute this non-crime.

The remedy if offended is to block the person, not to interact with them.

This the feminist running dogs promoting their false propaganda that all males are predators. The prosecutors should be assessed all legal costs for the false use of this case to display false piety, to advance career with a celebrity case, and for being feminists.

Did the defense make any of these points? Each has a clause of the constitution in support. They owe their job to the prosecutor, and will never attack him or the judge, to adequately defend the client.

I found Wiener's politics heinous, and him, an obnoxious, supercilious New Yorker. His eife is working for our enemies. So, I am not on his side, but on the side of accuracy, under siege by the stupidest people in our country.

Posted by: David Behar | Sep 21, 2017 2:53:26 PM

Actually, as he will find out, the fact that he has to register for as a sex offender will be far more restrictive for the rest of his life. While he ostensibly will have enough money to overcome the problem that the 99%'ers would be affected by, he still will have to have his address listed, as well as be restricted from the Internet for the most part in New York, for the rest of his life. Bye, Carlos Danger.

Posted by: Eric Knight | Sep 22, 2017 3:31:02 PM

"be restricted from the Internet for the most part in New York"

How will the recent Supreme Court case affect that?

Posted by: Joe | Sep 22, 2017 5:19:27 PM

I hope the recent supreme court case will turn out favorably considering that the vast majority of these individuals do not recidivate.

Posted by: tommyc | Sep 23, 2017 9:49:59 AM

Don't see how a life time ban from the Internet would be constitutional for him under the decision & someone of his notoriety would find it hard to live in anonymity anyhow. Anyway, reports I saw did say he would have to register as a sex offender.

Posted by: Joe | Sep 23, 2017 10:38:15 AM

The scumbag prosecutors say the 15 year old is a harmed victim. But if she did something bad they would magically transform her into an "adult" and prosecute her as such. The fact is that the criminal regimes want everything their way, whichever way they happen to want at the time. They are the ultimate control freaks and a danger to free people.

A good thing about Weiner joining the Registries is that he will quickly lose any empathy for anything bad that he may have done. He will transform into a person who wants to hurt other people. He will hate government and not support them or their law enforcement criminals. There are tens of millions of people like that today. There can't be too many. Let's divide America and let the hate flow.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Sep 23, 2017 3:02:58 PM

@davidbehar - I think you've made some very valid points. Of specific interest in the article is the fact that the accused voted for restrictions, so he knew exactly what he was doing at the time of his offense.
Other excellent points are that a 15 year old would be tried as an adult for a serious offense. We also know that teenagers, at least those exposed to the Internet, have access to far more information, porn, etc., than ever before.
I guess my point is that it's time for prosecutors to stop having it both ways.
Finally, it's ironic that in Oklahoma several politicians are accused of and/or convicted of sex crimes.
"A rehabilitated sex offender"

Posted by: Oswaldo | Sep 24, 2017 1:49:43 PM

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