NEW YORK — Former Rep. Anthony Weiner was ordered Friday to register as a sex offender as he nears the end of a 21-month prison sentence for having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old girl.
A New York City judge designated Weiner a Level 1 offender under the state’s version of what’s known as Megan’s Law, meaning that he is thought to have a low risk of reoffending.
Weiner, a once-rising star in the Democratic Party who served nearly 12 years in Congress, has been living in a halfway house since February after serving most of his sentence at a prison in Massachusetts.
He’s due to be released May 14 but still faces three years of court supervision.
Weiner, 54, must register for a minimum of 20 years. He is required to verify his address every year, notify the state within 10 days of moving and visit a police station every three years to have a new picture taken.
Because of his low-level designation, Weiner’s information won’t show up in the state’s online sex offender registry but will be available via a toll-free telephone number.
Weiner didn’t attend Friday’s court hearing. Messages seeking comment were emailed to his lawyers.
Weiner pleaded guilty in May 2017 to transferring obscene material to a minor.
Prosecutors said he had a series of sexually explicit Skype and Snapchat exchanges with a North Carolina high school student and encouraged the teen to strip naked and touch herself sexually.
At his sentencing, Weiner said he’d been a “very sick man for a very long time” and said he had a sex addiction.
Weiner’s lawyer said the former lawmaker likely exchanged thousands of messages with hundreds of women over the years and was communicating with up to 19 women when he encountered the teenager.
It wasn’t the first time Weiner had been caught acting inappropriately.
After sending a lewd picture of himself to a college student in 2011, Weiner claimed his account had been hacked, then admitted online interactions with at least six other women while married to top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
Weiner resigned from Congress, only to try for a political comeback with a run for New York City mayor in 2013. Then came the revelation that Weiner had used the alias “Carlos Danger” to send explicit photos to at least one woman after resigning from Congress.
Weiner received less than 5% of the Democratic primary vote.
Abedin filed for divorce from Weiner in 2017. But the two, who have a young son together, later agreed to discontinue the case in order to negotiate their separation privately.
The investigation into Weiner’s contact with the 15-year-old roiled the 2016 presidential campaign because emails Clinton had sent to Abedin were found on a laptop computer FBI agents seized from him.
That led then-FBI Director James Comey to announce just days before the election that that agency was reopening its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.
Days later, Comey said nothing in the new emails changed his view that Clinton could not be charged with a crime.
Nevertheless, Clinton felt damage was done and said Comey shared blame for her loss to Republican Donald Trump.
Comey has said he made the announcement because he feared the news would leak, and he didn’t want it to appear that the FBI was covering anything up.
By: Michael R. Sisak, Associated Press