partlycloudy
Sunday September 24th, 2017 3:29PM

Lawyers: Teen girl Weiner sexted wanted to affect election

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Disgraced former New York congressman Anthony Weiner is no predator and should be spared from prison at his sentencing for sexting with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl who dreamed about affecting the U.S. presidential election, his lawyers told a judge on Wednesday.

The submission in Manhattan federal court referenced "Anthony's operatic self-destruction," describing the crime as "the final act ... born of deep sickness." But it blamed the girl, saying she has told government investigators it had been a goal of hers to affect last year's election.

The court filing included letters from Weiner and his estranged wife, Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who appeared with him in state court earlier in the day at a divorce proceeding, looking more like a couple than not.

In a heavily blacked-out letter, Abedin wrote: "With Anthony, I have repeatedly found myself in circumstances I never imagined. I am devastated by Anthony's actions, and I understand he must face their consequences."

The lawyers described Weiner, a once powerful Democrat, as having committed a crime, though "one far less egregious than any sexting case that has been prosecuted in this district."

They said he never sought out teenagers on the internet and didn't engage in other predatory behaviors typical of those arrested in similar cases.

"He responded to the victim's request for sexually explicit messages not because she was a teenager but in spite of it," the lawyers said.

The lawyers said Weiner had caught the eye of "a curious high school student, looking to generate material for a book the government has disclosed she is now shopping to publishers." They said the girl documented their interactions from the outset, photographing her phone to preserve messages, before selling her story to a British tabloid for $30,000.

The lawyers said the investigation of Weiner was "quite improperly injected into the U.S. presidential election, quite possibly affecting its outcome."

"After the election was over, the high school student told government investigators that this had been one of her goals from the outset," Weiner's lawyers wrote.

The girl told Inside Edition in an interview she knew that Clinton, a Democratic former U.S. secretary of state, senator and first lady, would be running for president last year.

"I wanted to see if Anthony was still up to the same antics," she said.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who will sentence Weiner on Sept. 25, Weiner wrote that "regret for my crime is profound" and that he had endangered the well-being of a 15-year-old girl.

"My continued acting out over years crushed the aspirations of my wife and ruined our marriage," he said.

Hours earlier, Weiner and Abedin appeared briefly before a judge in their divorce case. They sat side by side and chatted casually while their lawyers met with state Supreme Court Justice Michael L. Katz.

An FBI investigation into Weiner's online relationship with the girl became a factor in the presidential election. Then-FBI Director James Comey announced in late October 2016 that an investigation into emails that had been kept on Clinton's private server needed to be reopened while the bureau looked at emails found during the Weiner probe.

Although Comey announced two days before the November election that nothing was found in the new search that would result in charges against Clinton, she has cited it as a reason for her loss to Donald Trump.

Trump, a Republican, became president in January and dismissed Comey in May.

Weiner, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2005 and 2013, is eligible for a harsh term of years in prison in the sexting case but is likely to face less time. As part of his plea bargain, he agreed not to appeal any sentence between 21 and 27 months.

In his sentencing letter, Weiner wrote that he now attends daily "mutual support meetings" as part of treatment and mentors those new to the program.

He said he was profoundly sorry to his victim.

"My life isn't big and loud anymore," he said. "Every day I quietly do what I can to keep getting better and to fix the damage I've done."

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump delivers shock rebuke to Colombia over cocaine surge
U.S. President Donald Trump is warning he may decertify Colombia as a partner in the drug war unless it reverses a surge in cocaine production in the South American nation
12:01AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Lawyers: Teen girl Weiner sexted wanted to affect election
Lawyers for disgraced former New York congressman Anthony Weiner have asked a judge to spare him prison when he's sentenced for sexting with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl who wanted to affect the presidential election
11:57PM ( 14 minutes ago )
With quick hooks, Yanks win 2 of 3 from Rays at Citi Field
A disappointed Jaime Garcia didn't say a word to manager Joe Girardi when he was removed after 4 2/3 innings, and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 to take two of three in a series moved from Florida to Citi Field because of Hurricane Irma
11:57PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Democrats say they have deal with Trump on young immigrants
The top House and Senate Democrats say they have reached agreement with President Donald Trump to protect thousands of younger immigrants from deportation and fund some border security enhancements _ not including Trump's border wall
11:23PM ( 48 minutes ago )
Lawyers in Weiner's teen sexting case says he's no predator
Lawyers for disgraced former New York congressman Anthony Weiner say he's no predator and have asked a judge to spare him prison when he's sentenced for transmitting obscene material to a 15-year-old North Carolina girl
11:18PM ( 53 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump resumes Twitter feud with Hillary Clinton
President Donald Trump is preaching bipartisanship as he meets with a group of moderate members of Congress from both parties Wednesday
11:03PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Trump delivers shock rebuke to Colombia over cocaine surge
U.S. President Donald Trump is warning he may decertify Colombia as a partner in the drug war unless it reverses a surge in cocaine production in the South American nation
12:01AM ( 10 minutes ago )
With quick hooks, Yanks win 2 of 3 from Rays at Citi Field
A disappointed Jaime Garcia didn't say a word to manager Joe Girardi when he was removed after 4 2/3 innings, and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 to take two of three in a series moved from Florida to Citi Field because of Hurricane Irma
11:57PM ( 15 minutes ago )
White House: ESPN could justify firing Hill for Trump tweets
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that sports anchor Jemele Hill could justifiably be fired from ESPN for tweets calling President Donald Trump a "white supremacist" and "a bigot."
11:51PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Injured hawk 'Harvey' that gained online popularity released
Injured hawk that sought refuge in a Houston taxicab before Harvey made landfall returned to the wild
11:45PM ( 27 minutes ago )
LEADING OFF: Indians aim for 22nd straight, Miller off DL
LEADING OFF: Indians aim for 22nd straight win as Andrew Miller comes off DL; King Felix returns for Mariners; Marlins headed to Milwaukee instead of home; Phillies rookie Hoskins on record home run tear
11:44PM ( 27 minutes ago )