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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Saturday, October 21, 2017

On Monday, September 25, disgraced former U.S. congressman Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison for sending illicit messages to a teenager.

Weiner was, in addition to the 21-month prison term, sentenced to three years of supervised release.

Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York stated that Weiner's sentence is even more important because of his background in politics. 

In court, Cote said, "Because of the defendant's notoriety, there is intense interest in the defendant's plea and sentence. It could make a difference in lives and is a very significant part of this sentence."

She added, "This is a serious crime that deserves serious punishment."

Back in May, the 53-year-old Weiner pled guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor, for the exchanges he had with a 15-year-old girl who later described the messages and gave the photos over to the Daily Mail.

Weiner has a history of vulgar conduct, with similar incidents of sending sexual messages and photos to other woman led recently to his wife filing for divorce as well as his forced resignation from Congress. 

However, these exchanges would have far worse and legal consequences for Weiner because of the girl’s age. Prosecutors said that Weiner was well aware that the girl was underage and chose to commit a crime by engaging in explicit conduct with her.

The prosecutors asked that Weiner’s sentence be between 21 and 27 months, arguing that his misdeeds were “serious and his demonstrated need for deterrence is real.”

In the sentencing papers, prosecutors wrote, “The defendant did far more than exchange typed words on a lifeless cellphone screen with a faceless stranger. With full knowledge that he was communicating with a real 15-year-old girl, the defendant asked her to engage in sexually explicit conduct via Skype and Snapchat, where her body was on display, and where she was asked to sexually perform for him.”

The Washington Post reports, “Weiner’s defense attorneys argued for a penalty that did not include jail time. They cast the former congressman as a man with an addiction problem and asserted that the teen had reached out to him hoping to generate material for a book deal and to influence the presidential election. She was paid $30,000 by the Daily Mail for her story, defense attorneys wrote, and an additional $10,000 for a recent appearance on ‘Inside Edition.’ The teen also admitted to investigators that ‘one of her goals’ was to affect the presidential election, defense attorneys asserted.”

On Monday, in Manhattan in federal district court, Weiner appeared for his sentencing, at which he apologized for his actions and said he is seeking treatment for his addiction.

In a letter to the court, he wrote, “I am profoundly sorry to her. I was selfish. I have no excuse for what I did to her.”

The acting Manhattan U.S. attorney Joon H. Kim said in a news release that received a “just sentence that was appropriate for his crime.”

By Hannah Hayes