Patterico's Pontifications

6/10/2011

Police Visit "Ethel"

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 4:14 pm

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

BREAKING NEWS

While a Fox News reporter was sitting at the kitchen table with "Ethel," the girl mentioned in our previous reports on Rep. Weiner talking to underage girls, the police entered and immediately ended the interview. Police also ask reporter to hand over screen grabs and other potential evidence.

For more details read the report on Fox News.

Fox has video.

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UPDATE BY AARON WORTHING: I wanted to add some text from the news story discussing the police visit. Expect many updates by Patrick, and Lee, and possibly myself as the evening goes on:

NEW CASTLE, Del. — Police on Friday afternoon came to the home of a 17-year-old high school junior to ask her about direct online communications she has had with Rep. Anthony Weiner.
Two officers from the New Castle County Police Department arrived at the girl’s home around 4:30 p.m. and asked to speak with the girl’s mother about the daughter’s contact with Weiner. Another officer appeared at the home a short time later. A FoxNews.com reporter was at the home when the police arrived.
The girl, whose name is being withheld because she is a minor, told FoxNews.com, "I’m doing OK.”

Read the whole thing. This is almost certainly the girl Patrick identifies as “Ethel.” I know what her true name is, and I know that she lives in Delaware.

This doesn’t mean Weiner is guilty of any inappropriate behavior toward this minor, but if the police are thorough, it does mean we will know if he is guilty of such conduct.

Also let’s consider a quote from Weiner’s own Congressional webpage that might become more ironic as this goes forward:

Sadly, the Internet is the predator’s venue of choice today. We need to update our strategies and our laws to stop these offenders who are a mere click away from our children.

And let’s not forget that screencap:

END OF UPDATE BY AARON WORTHING.

UPDATE BY AARON AND LEE: Weiner’s office issues an oddly worded statement:

Weiner’s spokes[person], Risa Heller, emails: “According to Congressman Weiner, his communications with this person were neither explicit nor indecent.”

As Allahpundit points out, spokespeople don’t phrase it that way, “according to my boss.” They usually declare it as if it is a fact, suggesting even his spokesperson has doubts.

67 Responses to “Police Visit "Ethel"”

  1. What possible crime could they be investigating? Is it now a crime to talk dirty to a minor?!

    And even if it is, this girl is not a minor, in her own state or in Weiner’s. In DE the age of consent is 16, and in NY it’s 17. She’s 17, and therefore legal in both. How can dirty tweets be the police’s business, when actual sex would not be?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  2. There’s something screwy with this post. There were comments on it before just now, and they disappeared.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  3. Also, I’m pretty sure this post was originally by Patterico, not Stranahan. And Aaron had a post up as well, which has disappeared.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  4. >>This girl is not a minor, in her own state or in Weiner’s.

    Doesn’t matter. They used Twitter, which involves electronic communications across state lines (even if they lived next door to one another). That makes it a federal matter, and federal law has only one standard: 18 years okay, 17 years 364 days not at all okay.

    Weiner is doomed.

    Ralph Malph (c8091d)

  5. It’s important to note that there’s a (good) chance he didn’t cross a legal line but crossed a line that should get him kicked out of congress.

    Milhouse, you have no idea what you’re talking about… in Deleware, 16 and 17 year olds can have sex with someone up to the age of 30… but the age of consent is 18.

    soren (303eda)

  6. Eh, Delaware that is

    soren (303eda)

  7. Not a lawyer, want a serious answer — no moralizing please — what crime did he possibly commit with a minor of the non physical variety?

    Sponge Bob Square Pants (fccc6f)

  8. Relief.

    SarahW (af7312)

  9. Well then is it true that a person chatting with a 45 year old police officer who is playing the role of a 15 year old girl can be charged with a crime but a sitting U.S. Congressman chatting with a real teenager can’t?

    Huey (ddf1a4)

  10. “this girl is not a minor, in her own state or in Weiner’s.”

    Yes, she is a minor. Age of consent in Delaware is 18. (It is 16 or 17 only if the youngest person is younger than 30).

    Because Democrat Anthohy Weiner is 46, if he had sex with this student, he is guilty of statutory rape. And that is the crime that the Delaware police are investigating.

    They are investigating the illicit relationship between a sitting United States Congressman with a history of showing his penis to young girls on the internet, and a minor student who he met while she was visiting him in Washington, D.C. on a school outing.

    someguy (bcbafa)

  11. as for the criminal question, i looked into it earlier today.

    it depends on how dirty the talk got. bluntly if it got as bad as it did with weiss, he committed a crime.

    And i don’t know what the age of consent for sex is, but you can’t do those things he did with weiss with a girl under the age of 18 in Delaware.

    also there are potential federal crimes there too. i will probably write a post on it.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  12. So a good question for all the attorneys here:

    If indeed “Ethel” is underage, and Weiner was engaging in dirty talk with her, or sent her compromising photos, does his use of electronic media, like twitter, make this into some kind of wire fraud case?

    And, hypothetically of course, she sent him photos that could be described as “soft porn”, topless or something such, would it then be some kind of kiddie-porn rap as well as wire fraud?

    I WANT TO SAY UP FRONT THESE ARE HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS; I’M IN NO WAY ASSERTING THAT THESE EVENTS HAVE OCCURRED.

    Thanks for the explanation. I’ll be happy to return a solid in kind, and do some kind of engineering analysis (structural, aerodynamic, or otherwise aerospace related) or solve some differential equations of something like that for you :)

    My Regards

    Bob Reed (5f2db5)

  13. bob

    on wire fraud, well… what would be the lying part of it?

    and you have to say Weiner was “damaged” by it. i am not sure being tricked by a teenager into sex talk is “damage.” i mean that literally.

    and yes, it absolutely would be kiddie porn. go to the thread that started this all, and i have a few comments on the law.

    that being said, I think i will look at the relevant laws tonight and blog on them.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  14. Doesn’t matter. They used Twitter, which involves electronic communications across state lines (even if they lived next door to one another). That makes it a federal matter, and federal law has only one standard: 18 years okay, 17 years 364 days not at all okay.

    Wrong. The federal age of consent is 16.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  15. And if this contact is alleged to have happened in DC, then the relevant age is 16

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  16. “i don’t know what the age of consent for sex is …”

    According to numerous online legal sources (and also Wikipedia) the age of consent to engage in sexual activities for a 46 year old man is 18. That is, the girl cannot be younger than 18.

    Girls 16 or 17 can have sex, but not with Anthony Weiner, since he’s 46. If Anthony Weiner had sex with this minor girl, that would be considered statutory rape.

    If he sent pictures of his penis to this girl over the internet, he’s guilty at a minimum of solicitation of a minor and probably guilty of providing pornography to a child.

    If he solicited “sexting” shots from her and she sent them, he is probably guilty of possession of child pornography.

    Anthony Weiner is in serious legal jeopardy, but the police investigation is occurring in heavily Democratic Delaware. It is not at all inconceivable that the police are, at this very moment, being severely pressured by Democrat Party officials to halt their criminal investigation of the Congressman.

    someguy (bcbafa)

  17. milhouse, you are flat out wrong about the federal age of consent at least in the child porn context:

    This part makes it illegal to make child porn:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/718/usc_sec_18_00002251—-000-.html

    And this part defines the term child and other important terms.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/718/usc_sec_18_00002256—-000-.html

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  18. Thanks for the explanation Aaron. When I used the words, “wire fraud”, I was broad brushing Weiner using the airwaves to do something illegal. Since that’s the only term I’m familiar with, well, that explains my playing fast and loose with the term.

    I look forward to reading your legal analysis later.

    Thanks for the reply.

    Bob Reed (5f2db5)

  19. Aaron completely misstated what happened.

    Lee posted using his admin privileges, I think getting his wife to do it, and it looked like it came from me. It was never my post.

    Patterico (135ea8)

  20. Remember, Wiener instructed these women to lie on his behalf. How far are we from an obstruction of justice charge?

    bskb (334c50)

  21. Aaron’s misstatement was so appallingly wrong I took it down.

    Patterico (135ea8)

  22. ___________________________________________

    We need to update our strategies and our laws to stop these offenders who are a mere click away from our children.

    Beyond the irony of that, there’s also a peculiar homosexualized quality about Weiner’s behavior. First of all, most truly straight guys aren’t as interested in showing their junk as much as they’re into having women flash their body parts to them. And most hetero guys certainly aren’t going to get cheap thrills by obsessing over their crotch and its size the way that Weiner appeared to do, definitely when it came to unsolicited text messaging with girls he barely knew and, most recently, in the very inappropriately glib, blue-humor-dick-size banter he’s had with certain reporters.

    Moreover, if it’s true Weiner is even more into his penis because of its dimensions, that’s just another clue to what may be at the core of what makes him tick.

    salon.com, Nov. 4, 1999

    Stiff homosexual organs are one-third of an inch longer, claims an article titled “The Relation Between Sexual Orientation and Penile Size” in the June Archives of Sexual Behavior. The phallus findings are based on archived data from 5,122 measurements of men’s schlongs obtained by the Kinsey Report from 1938-1963.

    Dr. Anthony Bogaert of Brock University in Ontario, Canada and Dr. Scott Hershberger of California State University-Long Beach co-authored the recent study, which is part of a larger study on the origins of sexual orientation and behavior.

    Reached by phone at his Ontario office, Bogaert generously answered my most probing questions about the penile research. Why on Earth would gay guys be heavier hung?

    “It might have something to do with prenatal hormones that affect the structure and size of genitalia and certain structures of the brain that ultimately affect sexual orientation,” Bogaert said. “If so, this would lend support to theories that believe there are biological factors affecting sexual orientation.”

    Not to mention that a high percentage of people in the gay/bisexual category is of the left, and Weiner most definitely is a hard-core liberal.

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  23. Patrick

    yeah, sorry, i didn’t know lee could do that, so… sorry.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  24. The relevant Delaware law may be Del Code Section 1361, especially this subsection:

    (b) Obscenity is a class E felony if a person sells, delivers or provides any obscene picture, videotape, video game, writing, record, audio cassette tape, compact disc or other representation or embodiment of the obscene to a person under the age of 18. In all other cases, obscenity is a class G felony. In addition to the above penalties, upon conviction of obscenity involving live conduct as defined in § 1364 of this title, the court shall order the business or establishment which presented, displayed or exhibited such conduct closed for a period of 6 months.

    Anon (fdd243)

  25. Looks like Tommy Christopher over at Mediaite.com just woke up at 8:36 pm, June 10th, 2011
    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/police-investigate-alleged-contact-between-rep-anthony-weiner-and-underage-delaware-girl/

    Patterico, I as posted earlier, he had he scoop of the decade or maybe even the Century and he blew it.
    Keep up the great reporting and let’s see what happens now that the Deleware police are involved.

    Joe

    Joe Smith (54c0c1)

  26. Well, a “source close to the Delaware girl” is putting out CYA statements to the NYDN…

    “She was not targeted in any way and did not receive any inappropriate messages or photos or anything from the congressman,” a source close to the Delaware girl told the Daily News. “If she had, her family would have filed charges.”

    “The blogs have taken a few tweets from a 17-year-old kid and put their own twist on messages that were just kid stuff,” the source said. “Her family has gone through all her accounts and not found any inappropriate messages.”

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2011/06/10/2011-06-10_rep_anthony_weiner_tweeted_17yearold_girl_but_congressman_swears_it_wasnt_dirty_.html

    She most certainly was “targeted”… any girl who expressed romantic/sexual interest(even if it was meant to be ironic) in Weiner in which he took notice enough to follow and message them on twitter is/was “a target”. PERIOD

    It’s indisputable that Weiner was at least flirting with this girl. I know how men think, and there’s no way the “tights and cape shit” can come up in a conversation with someone that you know has a crush on you without it being on some level a reciprocation.

    As far as her parents go, I’m pretty sure she deleted the honey mustard lube tweet early… I could be wrong about this, but if you look at conversation with goatsred it looks like Ethel(and the rest of the girls) deleted many of their DMs early…

    soren (303eda)

  27. Re anon. This is probably why the fuzz showed up at “Ethels house.

    f1guyus (2a84e9)

  28. From Mediaite:

    and while that has obviously raised suspicion, it could easily have been an automatically-generated message like the one sent to “Betty,” another underage follower of Rep. Weiner’s.

    Tommy Christopher is the most gullible person on earth.

    MayBee (081489)

  29. If she deleted the messages (which I would assume she did) her parents would not see the raunchy stuff – after all – she deleted the honey mustard comment. So, the only way to know for sure is to have Twitter retrieve the history for the account. I bet it drops, and no one goes after the messages – especially if she won’t file a complaint. And since the parents say they searched all of her accounts and found nothing, the police will just shuffle off. But, I wonder what made them go there in the first place? And did anyone else notice that the honey mustard lube comment had quotes in it? Like she was quoting something that was written to her?

    Janetoo (84c5f6)

  30. Delaware Code Section 1364 defines “obscene” for the purposes of the statute, and Section 1362 sets forth two affirmative defenses:

    (1) Institutions or persons having scientific, educational, governmental or other similar justification for possessing obscene material; or

    (2) Noncommercial dissemination to personal associates of the accused who are known by the accused not to object to the receipt of such material.

    Anon (fdd243)

  31. “”””””

    She most certainly was “targeted”… any girl who expressed romantic/sexual interest(even if it was meant to be ironic) in Weiner in which he took notice enough to follow and message them on twitter is/was “a target”. PERIOD

    ….

    and while that has obviously raised suspicion, it could easily have been an automatically-generated message like the one sent to “Betty,” another underage follower of Rep. Weiner’s.

    Tommy Christopher is the most gullible person on earth.
    “”””””

    Let’s look at the timeline…

    —————

    Ethel: HE IS MINE ALL MINE HE LOVES ME AND NO ONE ELSE ILY ILY ILY!!!
    11 Apr

    Ethel: @RepWeiner I’m in love with you
    13 Apr

    Ethel: Watchin @RepWeiner on cnn <3
    13 Apr

    Ethel: Seriously talking to Representative Weiner from New York right now! Like is my life real?
    13 Apr

    patriotusa76: "@repweiner talking to high-school girls now. Freak."

    Ethel: @sclancy cause representative weiner followed me back today and some sickos are trying to make a thing of it.
    04/13/2011

    Ethel: Seriously depressed that @RepWeiner doesn't follow me anymore. Yesterday was a great day!
    15 Apr

    —————

    Does Weiner have an automated script that follows people who say "I’m in love with you"… and that chats them up AFTER he follows them?

    soren (303eda)

  32. anon

    you’re reading the wrong statute.

    child pornography is not dealt with under the general obsenity statutes.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  33. So we are supposed to believe him now, even his spokeswoman appears to be wanting some distance with even this latest statement:

    A Weiner spokeswoman issued a one-sentence statement Friday night that said, “According to Congressman Weiner, his communications with this person were neither explicit nor indecent.”

    Joe

    Joe Smith (54c0c1)

  34. To clarify — I was at the grocery store when I heard about the story. I usually post using Windows Live Writer. I called my wife to post — she went to Chrome instead, where I’d been logged into Patrick’s account a couple of nights ago to read a draft of the Part 2. She posted there, so it went to Patrick’s account. I bought shrimp. Aaron called. She fixed. I bought chile con queso.

    [This comment was written by Lee and not Patterico. I have corrected the name. Lee, for God's sake, get out of the admin panel or I will revoke your admin privileges! :). -- P]

    Stranahan (708cc3)

  35. Here is a link to the Delaware code provisions starting with Section 1361. My earlier links were to FindLaw but the Delaware website is a better source.

    Anon (fdd243)

  36. I seriously doubt Weiner was having any physical contact with these women, but as Anon just pointed out, it would appear that Weiner may have violated at least an obscenity law if he sent any raunchy pics to the 17-year old.

    That will leave a mark.

    George (ee9f62)

  37. Why would this necessarily be child pornography, Aaron? If there are photos, I assume they would more likely be photos of Weiner.

    Anon (fdd243)

  38. Um, i think (going out on a limb), that “Patterico” above is actually lee using Patrick’s handle by mistake.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  39. BREAKING: AP:

    Delaware State Police Discover Shipping Container Full Of Honey Mustard, Capes And Tights Behind 17 year Old Girls House In Delaware……

    MORE TO COME

    John DiFool (4251ee)

  40. Yes indeed. That quote from Weiner’s spokesperson Risa Heller is a hum dinger and very much spoken in PR code. She has obviously very recently received an advanced degree from that famous school named Once Burned Twice Shy.

    elissa (f72979)

  41. Poster #37:

    It becomes Child pornography if Ethel sent anything to him that meets the Child pornography legal definition.

    He is also risking Cybersex charges.

    Joe

    Joe Smith (54c0c1)

  42. What I would give to be a fly on the wall in Anthony and Humma Weiners apartment right about now.

    And a bug in Humma’s phone when she calls Hillary.

    John DiFool (4251ee)

  43. for anyone who needs confirmation, yes this is ‘ethel.’ but i have no idea what is legal and what’s not regarding communications.

    milowent (0f8248)

  44. Joe,

    I realize there are also child porn laws but we know Weiner sent photos to his followers and I think it’s reasonable to suspect he might have sent one to Ethel. However, at this point, I don’t have any reason to suspect that if she got a photo, she reciprocated by sending one of her own.

    As for cybersex laws, can you link the laws that you think might apply?

    Anon (fdd243)

  45. “Sadly, the Internet is the predator’s venue of choice today. We need to update our strategies and our laws to stop these offenders who are a mere click away from our children.”

    This is called “stranger danger,” and it is mostly an issue of moral panic than anything else. Of course it plays well with the press and politicians because they push very minor, rare threats and events into existential threats (and the human brain seems pre-programmed to judge such rare events involving strangers as vastly more problematic than the more common threats we face daily – thus the fear of flying vs. driving a car daily). It remains the case that most people who prey on children are not strangers; they are people have close and common contact with children – parents, other relatives, clergy, etc.

    PCT (926d9f)

  46. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyharnden/100091772/conservative-bloggers-exposing-the-sordid-underbelly-of-the-weiner-scandal-that-mainstream-media-will-not-touch/

    It was conservative bloggers, most prominently Andrew Breitbart at Big Government, that broke the story and forced Weiner into the situation of being unable to continue lying about his Twitter account being hacked.

    Now leading the Weiner web sleuthing is Patterico, who earlier today posted a detailed and convincing, though circumstantial, case that there is a very strong possibility that Weiner sent lewd messages and/or images to minors.

    aunursa (a2a019)

  47. BTW, one reason Ginger Lee hooked up with Gloria Allred was because someone was going to try to speak in her name…

    Well look at that NYDN story… do you think that “source close to the Delaware girl” is someone else speaking in their name?

    soren (303eda)

  48. Anon #44:

    Well there is this:
    Anthony Weiner Sponsored Internet Sexual Predators Legislation In the interest of protecting the children, U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner (D – NY), sponsored the Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2007 a.k.a. KIDS Act of 2007.

    http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc110/h719_ih.xml

    Please note that Rep Weiner has not been convicted of anything at this point so please consider that before you rush to a guilty decision.

    Joe

    Joe Smith (54c0c1)

  49. Not Guilty per Delaware Police

    “”They were made aware of an alleged contact between Congressman Anthony Weiner and an area teen,” said Officer Tracey Duffy, a New Castle County police spokeswoman. “The teen has been interviewed and disclosed no information regarding any criminal activity.””

    Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/10/politics/main20070636.shtml#ixzz1Ovdd193J

    Stan (685017)

  50. Weiner look like spawn
    of a tryst between Huntz Hall
    and David Brenner

    ColonelHaiku (8fa4f9)

  51. “They were made aware of an alleged contact between Congressman Anthony Weiner and an area teen,” said Officer Tracey Duffy, a New Castle County police spokeswoman. “The teen has been interviewed and disclosed no information regarding any criminal activity.”

    Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/10/politics/main20070636.shtml#ixzz1OveDXwLI

    They’re going to try to CYA this… are you seriously going to let them? Time to put on your tights and cape.

    Like I said earlier, how does the “tights and cape sh*t” comment not constitute as flirting when you know the person on the other end of it has a crush on you?

    soren (303eda)

  52. do world a favor
    weiner make it go away
    surrender to feds

    ColonelHaiku (8fa4f9)


  53. Not Guilty per Delaware Police

    Comment by Stan — 6/10/2011 @ 7:01 pm”

    Um, no… that’s not what they said…

    soren (303eda)

  54. If a teacher was caught having anything close to Weiner’s conversations with Ethel, they would get the boot. That includes if a 21 year old first year teacher writes or speaks about anything sexual with their 18 high school students. We fired a 45 year old teacher for just for writing romantic letters to a student. Do politicians hold themselves to a lower standard? Oh right, these are the same guys who have given themselves a plushy medical plan while denying the same level of medical care to the rest of us under Obamacare. They are a higher life form and not subject to the same rules. And of course, “The public scandal is what brings offence, and secret sinning is not sin at all” ( Moliere’s Tartuffe )

    bmertz (d77c52)

  55. Soren,

    Not exactly. The quote just says that Ethel did not disclose any information. Stay tune for future developments.

    “The teen has been interviewed and disclosed no information regarding any criminal activity.”

    Joe

    Joe Smith (54c0c1)

  56. Joe,

    I don’t see anything in your link that might apply to this case so you need to spell it out for me. In addition, I’m not rushing to a decision because I haven’t made one about what happened between Ethel and Weiner.

    Anon (fdd243)

  57. “Soren,

    Not exactly.”

    You’re addressing the wrong person… I think you mean Stan….

    soren (303eda)

  58. Btw Charles Johnson has just put Adam Baldwin on ignore for picking on him at Twitter.

    bmertz (d77c52)

  59. Why would this necessarily be child pornography, Aaron? If there are photos, I assume they would more likely be photos of Weiner.

    Comment by Anon

    I guess this assumption is based on how we know Weiner loves to send all these gross pictures, but I would be surprised if he didn’t get plenty of them in reply.

    Regardless, you’re right it’s not necessarily child porn unless … that happened. I’m not seeing how this is a revelation. No one is above the law.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  60. Was there an updated thread that vanished?

    Dianna (f12db5)

  61. Wow,

    On Friday afternoon, the local police arrived at their home and asked the girl and her mother to bring the girl’s phone and computer to the police station so they could be checked to make sure no crime had occurred.

    source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/11/nyregion/weiner-says-he-sent-private-messages-to-girl-17.html?_r=1

    Joe

    Joe Smith (54c0c1)

  62. What happened to the update that was posted at 7:22 pm that had the alleged Tweet with the “69″ quote between Weiner and the girl?

    Victoria (7b01cb)

  63. Dianna,

    Yes, I saw it but then got a 404 on a refresh. Maybe Patterico has been hacked…. ( just kidding ).

    Joe

    Joe Smith (54c0c1)

  64. It is back on the front page ( Update )..

    Joe

    Joe Smith (54c0c1)

  65. Thank you, Joe – I thought I’d done something silly!

    Dianna (f12db5)

  66. You have to wonder if Congressman Weiner’s resignation made investigations into his online behavior go away.
    Indiscriminate trolling online greats a real possibility that some of those involved in these conversations were minors.
    I’m not recommending a witch hunt against the former congressman. I am suggesting that perhaps a double standard is being applied. Would the average person who engaged in this type of behavior have thorough investigations? Did law enforcement drop the ball on this one because of the suspect’s position of power. We’ll probably never know.

    Mike Young, Esq. (01a4f7)


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