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Could Anthony Weiner be facing criminal charges?

We can all agree that Anthony Weiner probably should not own a cell phone.  Now it appears that he has not learned any lessons from his previous scandals and also should have stayed off his computer.  But has he finally crossed the line and subjected himself to criminal liability? Yes.

The messages and photos published by the Daily Mail show an ongoing relationship, complete with inappropriate communication, with a 15 year old girl.  This is not just scandalous, it's illegal. As a result of this communication, Anthony Weiner has likely opened himself up to criminal charges, including endangering the welfare of a child, soliciation of a minor, and dissemination of indecent materials to a minor. 

A person is guilty of disseminating indecent material to minors in the first degree when he uses a computer (or any electronic device) to knowingly send communication to a minor that invites or induces that minor to engage in sexual conduct for his benefit.  A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a child when that person knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years old.  No actual harm needs to result. These are just two of the charges that Mr. Weiner could now face.  

Several of the charges are likely to be class D felonies which carry a minimum sentence of 1 to 3 years in jail and a maximum of 7 years in jail.  While probation is possible with a class D felony, defendant's that have been convicted of similar crimes typically end up serving at least some jail time and having to register as a sex offender.  The District Attorney's Office does not need the consent of the underage girl to proceed with charges again Mr. Weiner. He has a long road ahead of him and should probably start looking for a criminal defense attorney. 

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