Disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner bawled in court Monday as he received a 21-month prison sentence for sexting a 15-year-old girl—an online relationship that contributed to the demise of his marriage and his hopes for a political comeback.
Weiner, a former New York representative who was forced to resign in an earlier sexting scandal, shed tears as he read a statement declaring that his online compulsion was “a disease” for which he offered no excuse.
“The crime I committed was my rock bottom,” Weiner said Monday, according to Newsday.
Related: James Comey Fired Timeline: Hillary Clinton’s Emails, Anthony Weiner’s Sexting and Everything Else to Know
Judge Loretta Preska followed prosecutors’ recommendation last week that the 53-year-old Weiner be behind bars for roughly two years, after he tearily confessed in May to exchanging lewd messages with a high school sophomore. The Daily Mail reported last September that Weiner had spent months flirting on apps like Confide and Kik with the girl, sending her shirtless pictures and saying he’d “bust that tight pussy so hard and so often.”
“Justice demands that this type of conduct be prosecuted and punished with time in prison,” U.S. attorney Joon Kim said in a statement. “Today, Anthony Weiner received a just sentence that was appropriate for his crime.”
Weiner went to sex rehab last year after the Daily Mail story broke; his actions triggered divorce proceedings with his wife, top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and a national political firestorm. While investigators were looking into Weiner’s case, they seized a laptop belonging to the couple. Days before the election, authorities announced that Abedin had been forwarding Weiner sensitive messages so he could print them—a revelation that reopened the probe into Clinton’s decision to have a private email server while working as secretary of state.
The FBI said two days before the election that Clinton would not face criminal charges in the email scandal, but she lost the race to Republican Donald Trump nonetheless.
Abedin, who has a child with Weiner, did not attend Weiner’s sentencing, according to the New York Daily News. She did, however, write to the court about Weiner’s history of extramarital sexting.
“This is not a letter I ever imagined I would write, but, with Anthony, I have repeatedly found myself in circumstances I never imagined,” Abedin said, hoping for leniency for her co-parent. “I am devastated by Anthony’s actions, and I…