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Anthony Weiner pleads guilty to sending obscene material to North Carolina girl

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FILE Former Congressman Anthony Weiner

The former Democratic congressman saw his political career implode after a series of scandals involving his inappropriate sexual exchanges with women online.

Weiner said in court that he was first contacted by the girl in January 2016 and that for two months, he "engaged in obscene communications with this teenager, including sharing explicit images and encouraging her to engage in sexually explicit conduct, just as I had done and continued to do with adult women".

The count of transferring obscene material to a minor carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Weiner cried in court as he apologized to the 15-year-old girl at the heart of the sexting case, The Associated Press reported.

Weiner was already in federal custody ahead of the hearing, which lasted less than half an hour. Weiner could potentially avoid jail time, although he'll be required to register as a sex offender.

Former congressman Anthony Weiner has left a New York City courtroom after pleading guilty to exchanging sexually explicit texts with a 15-year-old girl.

A spokesman for the law firm representing Weiner, Covington & Burling, said he would plead guilty before U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska on Friday morning but offered no further details.

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That same month, the FBI began investigating Weiner after the North Carolina girl told the news website DailyMail.com that she and Weiner had exchanged lewd messages for several months.

As part of his plea, Weiner agreed to forfeit his iPhone.

Weiner's lawyer, Arlo Devlin Brown, didn't immediately return a message Friday.

Federal agents seized Weiner's laptop during the investigation and discovered a batch of emails from his wife, Huma Abedin, then a senior aide to Hillary Clinton.

As a result, James Comey, then the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced in late October that the agency was reviewing the messages to determine whether to reopen its investigation into Mrs Clinton's handling of official correspondence.

Clinton recently attributed her election loss in part to Comey's announcement. The Daily Mail reported she said he sent her numerous photos, one of him in a pool and at least one bare-chested. A decision which came during the final push for Donald Trump and Clinton for the presidency.

Weiner also claimed at the time that he was "likely" the subject of a hoax. Weiner attempted to run for mayor of New York City in 2013; however, the effort was derailed after more explicit messages surfaced.

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