Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner marked the end of his 21-month prison sentence on Tuesday as he was released from a New York City halfway house, where he had been spending his time since prison for having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old girl in 2017.
"It's good to be out," the 54-year-old New York Democrat told reporters. "I hope to get back to my family and make up for some lost time."
Weiner had pleaded guilty to sending a series of sexually explicit messages to a North Carolina high school student. He began serving a 21-month prison sentence at the Federal Medical Center Devens, located about 40 miles west of Boston in Ayer, Massachusetts, in November 2017. Weiner was released from prison in Feburary but had been living in a halfway house in the city.
Now he must register as a level-one sex offender, which means he has a low risk of re-offending, for a minimum of 20 years.
Asked whether he felt he had learned any lessons, Weiner said, "Look, I feel like I am glad to be getting back to my family. I hope to be able to live a life of integrity and service, and I'm glad this chapter of my life is behind me."
A once-rising star in the Democratic Party who served nearly 12 years in Congress, Weiner had a dramatic and sordid fall from grace after he sent a lewd picture of himself to a college student over Twitter in 2011.
Weiner initially claimed his account had been hacked, then admitted he'd had inappropriate online interactions with at least six other women while married to top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
Weiner resigned from Congress that year but mounted a campaign for New York City mayor in 2013.
But his personal behavior was again his undoing after it was disclosed he sent explicit photos under the alias "Carlos Danger" to at least one woman after resigning from Congress.
Weiner ultimately garnered less than 5 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary.
His final fall came in 2017 after prosecutors say he sent a series of sexually explicit messages to a North Carolina high school student. Weiner pleaded guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor.
At his sentencing, he said he'd been a "very sick man for a very long time" because of his sex addiction.
Weiner's attorney said the ex-lawmaker likely exchanged thousands of messages with hundreds of women over the years and was communicating with up to 19 women when he encountered the teenager.
Abedin also filed for divorce from Weiner in 2017. But the two, who have a young son together, later agreed to discontinue the case in order to negotiate their separation privately.