Weiner cries as he pleads guilty to sexting girl

Disgraced former US congressman Anthony Weiner has cried in court as he pleaded guilty to sexting a 15-year-old girl.

The ex-Democrat politician broke down in tears as he apologised to his victim, saying: “I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse.”

Weiner, 52, pleaded guilty in a federal court in New York to one count of sending obscene messages to a minor over his online communications with a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.

Anthony Weiner pictured at the Democratic National Convention in July 2016
Weiner pictured at the Democratic National Convention in July 2016

The judge in Manhattan told him he would have to register as a sex offender.

He could face years in jail, but as part of a plea deal with prosecutors, he will not appeal any sentence of between 21 and 27 months.

In September, his victim told a news website she had exchanged lewd messages with him for several months and also accused him of asking her to undress on camera.

Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin pictured in New York in May 2016
Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin pictured in New York in May 2016

The investigation that followed had far-reaching political consequences.

FBI agents seized his laptop computer, finding a new cache of emails that then-Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had sent to senior aide, Huma Abedin, Mr Weiner’s wife.

FBI director James Comey called the decision one of 'the world's most painful'

FBI boss defends Clinton email revelation

In October, just days before the election, FBI director James Comey announced the bureau was reopening its closed inquiry into whether ex-Secretary of State Clinton had used a private email server for classified documents in order to assess the newly-discovered correspondence.

Though Mr Comey said soon afterwards that the emails contained nothing to change his view that Mrs Clinton could not be charged with a crime, the development was seen as influencing voters in the run-up to polling on 8 November.

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Clinton: ‘I was winning until emails decision’

Mrs Clinton partly blamed her election loss to Republican Donald Trump on Mr Comey’s announcement.

Last year’s case is not the first time Weiner, who has denied accusations he is a ‘sext-a-holic’, has been exposed.

In May 2011, he accidentally tweeted out a photo of his genitalia in boxer shorts that he apparently meant to send privately to a college student.

He initially denied sending it, but resigned from Congress two weeks later as more women with lewd photos came forward.

Weiner and wife Huma Abedin at a news conference in 2013
Weiner and wife Huma Abedin pictured during his New York mayoral campaign in 2013

Two years later, determined to revive his political career, he ran for mayor of New York, but further sexts and photos were published, posted under the alias “Carlos Danger”.

Mr Weiner refused to quit the race, but finished in fifth place with 4.9% of the vote.

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