Anthony Weiner is no longer merely a disgraced politician. Soon, he'll be an inmate. A judge on Monday sentenced the former congressman to 21 months in prison for sending explicit texts to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina, reports the AP. Weiner's attorneys had argued for probation, saying the 53-year-old's repeated online dalliances showed he needed help, not punishment. He had faced up to 27 months. In court Monday, Weiner wept upon hearing the sentence, reports the AP. Earlier, he had tearfully told the judge that he was "a very sick man for a very long time" and referred to his crime as "rock bottom." In regard to jail, however, Judge Denise Cote sided with prosecutors, who argued that "transmitting obscenity to a minor to induce her to engage in sexually explicit conduct by video chat and photo—is far from mere 'sexting,'" per the Daily Beast.
Before sentencing, Weiner's legal team had sought to depict the messages to the minor as an anomaly. Weiner exchanged "thousands of messages with hundreds of women (but this) was his first teenager and his last teenage victim," said a defense attorney, per a tweet from a Newsday reporter. As part of his guilty plea, Weiner will not appeal the sentence. He must report for prison on Nov. 6, reports the New York Times, which adds that Weiner remained seated between his attorneys after the judge left the courtroom, "crying, his face in his hands." Huma Abedin filed for divorce last year when news of the teen sexting scandal emerged. And all of this played a role in James Comey's decision to reopen an investigation into Hillary Clinton's email late in the election.