Weiner pleads guilty to sexting; faces possible prison time

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Disgraced US Rep. Anthony Weiner told a federal court judge in Manhattan that he knew he was sexting a 15-year-old girl when he plead guilty to criminal charges. (FOX 5 NY)

Former US Rep. Anthony Weiner pleaded guilty Friday in a Manhattan federal courtroom to sending explicit text messages to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.

Choking back tears during the 15-minute hearing, Weiner pleaded guilty to a single charge of transferring obscene material to a minor as part of a plea deal with the United States attorney’s office. He agreed to not appeal any sentence between 21 and 27 months in prison.

The Democratic former congressman apologized to the girl, saying, "I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse."

The judge told him he would have to register as a sex offender. Sentencing is scheduled for September 2017.

In September of 2016, the Daily Mail reported that Weiner was having online sexual communications with a 15-year-old girl for several months.

At the time, the former lawmaker told Fox 5 NY that he believed he was a victim of a hoax although he did not specifically deny communicating with the teen.

The explicit exchanges purportedly began in January 2016 while the girl was a high school sophomore, DailyMail.com reported.

According to the teen, Weiner, 51, asked her to undress and encouraged her to touch herself and say his name over video chat.

Weiner did not deny to DailyMail.com exchanging "flirtatious" messages with the teen. Based on the exchanges, Weiner allegedly knew she was only 15 years old.

The girl and her father reportedly did not want to press charges because she believed the relationship with Weiner was consensual.

Weiner's estranged wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton, separated from Weiner in 2016 after sexually explicit photos surfaced of Weiner that he had sent to another woman.

In one of the photos, Weiner is holding their 3-year-old son.

The investigation led FBI agents to seize Weiner's laptop computer, which led to the discovery of a new cache of emails that then Democratic presidential candidate Clinton sent to Abedin.

Weiner, who represented New York in Congress from 1999 to 2011, resigned after revelations that he was sending sexually explicit messages to multiple women.

He ran for New York City mayor in 2013 and was leading several polls until it was revealed he had continued his questionable behavior. His failed mayoral bid was the subject of the documentary "Weiner."

With the Associated Press