NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD and other authorities confirmed Thursday afternoon that they are investigating the latest claims against Anthony Weiner.
A police source confirmed to CBS2 that the NYPD Special Victims Unit, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, and the U.S. Attorney’s office are investigating Weiner, CBS2’s Dana Tyler reported.
A 15-year-old girl claimed in a published report that the disgraced former congressman and unsuccessful mayoral candidate sent her sexually explicit messages, even though she made it clear she is underage.
The report appeared in Britain’s Daily Mail and claimed that Weiner sent the girl shirtless photos of himself and more graphic messages.
The Daily Mail reported that Weiner carried on a monthslong online relationship with the teen, starting in January. The two allegedly traded sexually charged messages.
As of late Thursday afternoon, police had not spoken to Weiner or the teen, sources said.
Police on Thursday were trying to contact the teenage girl, and the U.S. Attorney’s office is issuing subpoenas as part of its probe, sources said.
“There’s no question that this was unethical,” said Stuart Slotnick, a defense attorney. “The question is, was it criminal?”
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, Slotnick said what happens next will all depend on the evidence. If the claims are true, Weiner could face charges at the state and federal level.
“They’re going to look at the facts. They’re going to look at what happened. They’re going to look at the texts what was said — did he ask this 15-year-old to do anything?” Slotnick said. “That’s what they’re going to be focused on.”
It is very possible that a prosecutor could consider his past behavior when determining how to move forward, according to Slotnick.
“I think a prosecutor is definitely going to look at his prior behavior to see if there’s an issue here,” Slotnick said. “If he committed a crime, I think they will be inclined to charge him.”
On Wednesday when the story surfaced, CBS2 reached out to Weiner.
Weiner offered this response to the article: “I have repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgment about the people I have communicated with online and the things I have sent,” he said. “I am filled with regret and heartbroken for those I hurt. While I have provided the Daily Mail with information showing that I have likely been the subject of a hoax, I have no one to blame but me for putting myself in this position. I am sorry.”
Weiner also used the claim of a hoax in his original sexting scandal, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported.
The girl told the Daily Mail she told her father and a teacher about the relationship last spring.
Weiner gave The Associated Press an email, purportedly written by the girl to her teacher, in which she recanted her story.
“Our online chats were never inappropriate,” the email said. “I wanted to publish my story. He was the best candidate to pin the story to. The story needed a hoax to ride on.”
The girl told the Daily Mail she wrote the email at Weiner’s request but never sent it to the teacher.
The latest revelations came just a month after photos surfaced of Weiner sexting a woman while his 4-year-old son was sleeping in his bed.
Shortly afterward, Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, announced her separation from Weiner. The separation occurred after photos of another sexting scandal appeared in the New York Post.
Child services also paid Weiner a visit.
The latest scandal could impact Weiner’s parental rights, according to Slotnick.
“It’s possible that these many incidents of texting and sexting can affect the custody of his child,” Slotnick said. “A lot of that is going to be up to his wife and what they do in their divorce.”
Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 in the wake of a sexting scandal. In 2013, he mounted a bid for mayor, but became embroiled in a second scandal and lost the Democratic primary to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)