Disgraced former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner is spending his last evening on the outside before surrendering to authorities for a 21-month prison sentence, his punishment for transmitting obscene material to a 15-year-old girl from North Carolina.
“Anthony Weiner, a former Congressman and candidate for Mayor, asked a girl who he knew to be 15-years-old to display her naked body and engage in sexually explicit behavior for him online,” acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said in a statement at Weiner’s sentencing.
“Justice demands that this type of conduct be prosecuted and punished with time in prison. Today, Anthony Weiner received a just sentence that was appropriate for his crime.”
Sentencing guidelines dictated that Anthony Weiner ought to spend anywhere from 21 to 27 months behind bars for his crime, but New York also allows judges to ignore such guidelines, which could have seen Weiner get slapped with upwards of 10 years in prison.
Judge Denise Cote, who described Weiner’s actions as “a serious crime that deserves serious punishment,” opted for a less severe sentence that will see Weiner serve his time in Massachusetts at the Federal Medical Center, Devens.
That facility houses inmates from multiple security classifications, which means that it currently holds prisoners ranging from Peter Madoff, the brother of Ponzi scheme arch-villain Bernard Madoff, to Frank Locascio, the former Underboss of New York City’s Gambino crime family.
Weiner was also sentenced to three years’ supervised release following his prison stint. His attorney, Arlo Devlin-Brown, insisted that the sentence was too strict.
“Judge Cote reasoned that because of Anthony’s notoriety, a sentence of imprisonment could discourage others from following in his footsteps. We certainly hope this public service message is received, but it has resulted in a punishment more severe than it had to be given the unusual facts and circumstances of this case.”