posted at 9:41 pm on September 21, 2016 by John Sexton
Earlier today I wrote about a report indicating that Anthony Weiner had allegedly sexted a 15-year-old high school student. Now the Daily Mail is reporting, in a follow-up story, that New York’s Special Victim’s Unit is looking at the case and considering whether or not to bring charges against Weiner. The Daily Mail spoke to a “celebrity lawyer” who said the NYPD could probably build a case based on the text messages alone:
Celebrity lawyer Joe Tacopina told DailyMail.com that Weiner could face a charge of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and three years probation.
Based on the graphic nature of the texts and the explicit topics discussed, Tacopina said that line of inquiry would ‘certainly be up for grabs’ for investigators.
Tacopina said the police would be able to build a strong case around the messages obtained by DailyMail.com without having to rely upon the credibility of his young accuser.
‘All you really have to do is look at the messages there to substantiate 90 per cent of her story,’ he added. ‘If she is a problem child that actually makes her more vulnerable and this is even more egregious, quite frankly.’
I didn’t want to speculate about this earlier, in part because my knowledge of how police investigate sex crimes comes almost exclusively from watching Law & Order: SVU. But, as this lawyer suggests, if the screenshots the Daily Mail published earlier today can be authenticated that would back up most of the accuser’s story. The one thing it would not prove is what happened during the Skype video chats which is where some of the most egregious behavior allegedly took place.
But realistically, would a jury looking at Weiner’s history, including his crude texts sent to other women in the past, be likely to draw a line and decide his behavior on video chat was probably better than what we see in the texts? I don’t think so. I think they’ll assume it’s more of the same or worse.
If Weiner is expecting special treatment because of his status as a former candidate for Mayor and a former congressman, he doesn’t seem like to get it from Gov. Cuomo. Cuomo told reporters, “If the reports are true, it’s possibly criminal and it is sick.”