Former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner asked for leniency on Wednesday in sentencing for the charge of sending sexually explicit photos to a 15-year-old girl on the grounds he is a “weak man.”
In a court filing from Manhattan federal court, Weiner’s lawyers pled that the judge should give a sentence that focuses more on treatment than punishment, saying their client was an attention-driven “weak man” with a “sickness.”
Weiner was apparently beside himself over what he had done to his wife’s career. Huma Abedin and Weiner are currently in the middle of a divorce, after the former lawmaker’s sexual undertakings led to the uncovering of thousands of Hillary Clinton emails forwarded to him by his former wife. Abedin was a top aide to the Clinton campaign.
His lawyers attempted to make Weiner seem the victim when he was contacted by the 15-year-old girl for the first time.
The teenage girl first contacted Mr. Weiner on Jan. 23, 2016, and he “responded as a weak man, at the bottom of a self-destructive spiral, and with an addict’s self-serving delusion that the communications were all just internet fantasy — willfully ignoring that there was a young person at the other end of the connection, hundreds of miles away, who could be damaged by these exchanges through the ether,” his lawyers wrote.
The teenager was looking for material for a book, which she has now written and is “shopping to publishers,” the memo says.
She also told investigators that she hoped “somehow to influence the U.S. presidential election, in addition to securing personal profit,” the memo says.
But the lawyers assert that her efforts to induce Mr. Weiner “to behave badly” did not excuse his behavior, nor justify it.
Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 21 to 27 months for a charge that carries a maximum of 10 years in prison. Weiner will be sentenced Sep. 25.
Weiner’s letter to the judge is nothing short of pitiful, as he engages in relentless self-deprecation in an attempt to overshadow his horrendous acts, while also demonstrating a half-hearted effort at making amends with his wife.
“My continued acting out over years crushed the aspirations of my wife and ruined our marriage,” Weiner wrote. “I am so deeply sorry for the harm I have done to her, and I live with the sorrow that I will never be able to fix that.”
He added, “My life isn’t big and loud anymore. Every day I quietly do what I can to keep getting better, and to fix the damage I’ve done.”
Abedin herself wrote a plea to the judge, noting she could never have imagined this would happen.
In her letter to the judge, asking for Weiner to be spared a prison sentence, Abedin described herself as “devastated” by his behavior.
“With Anthony,” she wrote, “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.”
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