Published September 22, 2016
By Gregg Jarrett
Published September 22, 2016 | FoxNews.com
Anthony Weiner would be well advised to retain a skilled criminal defense attorney.
Either that, or a tailor who can outfit him for the latest trend in prison stripes.
If the new reports of his sexting with a 15-year-old girl are true, the disgraced former congressman could find himself behind bars if convicted under both state and federal laws that criminalize such sick behavior.
Messages and photographs published byThe Daily Mail appear to show Weiner carrying on a months-long online sexual relationship with the girl.The lewd sexting reportedly included sexual role-playing and rape fantasies.
The messages allegedly indicate Weiner knew he was chatting with an underage girl.
Weiner is a known liar and sexting addict. But is he also a child predator? If you can stomach a reading of the news accounts, together with the lurid messages he seems to have sent, you will reach an inexorable conclusion. So, too, may a jury.
What crimes might Weiner have committed? Quite a few, actually. Both state and federal.
An adult who communicates with a minor via a computer or smart phone, either by transmitting indecent images or by engaging the minor in explicitly obscene “chat” conversations, is committing the crime of Disseminating Indecent Material To A Minor, as defined by New York State law (NY Penal Code 235.22). This is the so-called “real-life sexual encounter” law. Importantly, no real-life contact needs to have taken place in order for this crime to apply. Solicitation or persuasion is legally sufficient.
Then there are New York’s child pornography laws. Weiner could be charged with what’s known as Sexual Performance By A Child which is a felony (NY Penal Code 263). In essence, it is a crime to use a person under the age of 16 in a sexual performance, either actual or simulated. Both inducing and promoting such activities are separate and additional crimes.