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September 24, 2017

On eve of federal sentencing, any final predictions (or desires) for Anthony Weiner's punishment for underage sexting?

As previewed in prior posts linked below and as set up in this new AP piece, the next chapter (and I fear not the last) in the sordid sorry story of Anthony Weiner will play out tomorrow in a federal court in New York.  Here are the basics:

It seemed as if Anthony Weiner had hit rock bottom when he resigned from Congress in 2011. "Bye-bye, pervert!" one heckler shouted as the Democrat quit amid revelations that he had sent graphic pictures of himself to women on social media. Time has shown his self-destructive drama had only just begun.

Weiner, 53, is set to be sentenced Monday for sending obscene material to a 15-year-old girl in a case that may have also have played a role in costing Hillary Clinton — former boss of Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin — the presidential election.

Federal prosecutors have asked for a sentence of slightly more than two years behind bars because of the seriousness of the crime, in which Weiner sent adult porn to the girl and got her to take her clothes off for him on Skype. "The defendant did far more than exchange typed words on a lifeless cellphone screen with a faceless stranger," prosecutors wrote to the judge. "Transmitting obscenity to a minor to induce her to engage in sexually explicit conduct by video chat and photo — is far from mere 'sexting.'"

But Weiner's attorneys contend he is a changed man who has finally learned his lesson, calling his compulsive sexting a "deep sickness" best treated without time behind bars. The memo also suggested Weiner himself was a victim of the scandal, saying the North Carolina high school student initiated contact with him because she "hoped somehow to influence the U.S. presidential election" and write a tell-all book.

I have just had a chance to review this short sentencing memo that the government filed a few days ago. I found remarkable both the stupidity of Weiner's decision to "sext" with in an obviously underage girl, as well as the government's conclusion that applicable guideline calculations produce "offense level of 33 [meaning] the resulting Guidelines range would be 135 to 168 months’ imprisonment, but for the statutory maximum of 120 months’ imprisonment."  Luckily for Weiner, the "the Government agreed that a sentence within the range of 21 to 27 months’ imprisonment (which would be the applicable Guidelines range without application of the cross-references) would be fair and appropriate under the specific circumstances of this case."  And the Government makes this assertion in support of a prison sentence in that range: "Weiner’s demonstrated history of professed, yet failed, reform make it difficult to rely on his present claim of self-awareness and transformation. On this record, a custodial sentence is necessary to truly effect specific deterrence and prevent the defendant from committing this crime in the future."

Meanwhile, in his lengthy sentencing memo includes, in its words, "Anthony’s own deeply personal meditation to the Court on sickness and recovery (Exhibit 1 to this submission) that speaks most powerfully to his progress."  It also asserts, I think accurately, that Weiner's "wrongful conduct is on orders of magnitude less egregious than any case involving sexually explicit communications with a teenager that has ever been prosecuted in this district" and that "factors the Court must consider under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) — in isolation and taken together — demonstrate that a sentence of imprisonment is not required here and would result in punishment greater than necessary to achieve the goals of sentencing."

So, dear reader, what do you expect Anthony Weiner will get at sentencing?  I tend predict a "split the difference" outcome in cases like this, so I would be inclined to expect a sentence of a year and a day for him.  Something even a bit shorter would not surprise me, and I would actually be surprised if Weiner got anything more than 21 months.  In the end, at least for me, I have a hard time viewing Weiner's extraordinary stupidity as the involving the kind of evil or danger that really justifies a long federal prison term. 

Prior related posts:

September 24, 2017 at 11:56 AM | Permalink


The range for which Weiner said he won't challenge should be the top range for the judge to seriously think of applying, probably. Me? I just want Weiner to go away. Really sick of him.

Posted by: Joe | Sep 24, 2017 12:57:17 PM

He should get a death sentence. But that is because rather than admitting he is a pedophile and being proud of it he chooses to spew this nonsense about sickness and recovery. So he defends his legal stupidity by invoking knavery. Worse, he tries to justify this knavery but invoking all the bad things he himself did to pedophiles while in Congress. Lock up him up?Where are you going to put him? You put him in the general prison population and they will abuse him for being a pedophile. Yet if they put in him a special unit for sexual offenders the sexual offenders will take one look at his Congressional voting record and abuse him too.

As for what I expect him to get: he will get far more than what anyone deserves for this supposed crime and yet far less than what a normal non-elite connected person would get for the same behavior.

Posted by: Daniel | Sep 24, 2017 1:03:58 PM

Most likely 21 months. He deserves 120 months, creep had a beautiful high functioning wife and was a congressman. Send him to Corcoran is Calif, they will know all about him before he arrives, have a party for him. He will go to a Minimum Im sure and have it easy.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Sep 24, 2017 5:14:06 PM

In recovery, people often talk of hitting "multiple bottoms" -- that the consequences of one's addiction grow in volume and severity such that, eventually (and hopefully) it cracks through one's denial and unwillingness before one dies.

I don't know what sentence he should receive, but I hope it isn't any more than he needs.

Posted by: Guy | Sep 25, 2017 9:26:35 AM

"I found remarkable both the stupidity of Weiner's decision to "sext" with in an obviously underage girl, as well as the government's conclusion that applicable guideline calculations produce "offense level of 33 [meaning] the resulting Guidelines range would be 135 to 168 months’ imprisonment, but for the statutory maximum of 120 months’ imprisonment."

In a crime, shouldn't a harm take place, or in the case of a malum prohibitum, an increased risk of a harm?

Please, specify the physical, emotional, economical or any other harm in this crime. He offended the feminists and their male running dogs, perhaps.

Posted by: David Behar | Sep 25, 2017 10:10:41 AM


He got 21 months and three years of supervision.

Posted by: Daniel | Sep 25, 2017 10:49:41 AM

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