Weiner pleads guilty in 'sexting' case

NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) - Former Congressman Anthony Weiner pleaded guilty to criminal charges on Friday in an investigation of his online communications with a teenage girl in North Carolina, CBS News has confirmed.

Weiner pleaded guilty to transmitting sexual material to a minor and could get years in prison. The judge told him he would have to register as a sex offender.

He has agreed not to appeal any sentence between 21 and 27 months in prison.

The FBI began investigating Weiner in September after a 15-year-old North Carolina girl told a tabloid news site that she and the disgraced former politician had exchanged lewd messages for several months. She also accused him of asking her to undress on camera.

The investigation of his laptop led to the discovery of a cache of emails from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to her aide Huma Abedin, Weiner's estranged wife. 

State law makes it a felony to knowingly send minors "harmful" online messages or pictures involving nudity or sexual conduct or ask them to engage in sexual acts or performances. Some federal criminal laws also prohibit such behavior.

The disgraced former congressman acknowledged he communicated online with a girl who accused him of sending sexually explicit messages, but said he's also been the subject of a hoax. 

Weiner unsuccesfully ran for mayor in 2005. He led the polls during his second mayoral bid in 2013 until it was revealed he had continued his questionable behavior after his resignation from Congress in 2011.

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