The father of the teen at the center of Anthony Weiner’s latest sexting scandal isn’t pressing charges, according to a family source, but that may not be enough to keep local and federal authorities off the disgraced former congressman’s case, legal experts told FoxNews.com.
The fallen former New York Democrat politician is being investigated by the FBI and the NYPD over allegations that he exchanged sexually charged messages with a high school student who was 15 at the time. Neither the girl, whose identity in known to FoxNews.com, nor her father intend to file a complaint, the sourced told FoxNews.com.
“The FBI can absolutely pursue charges against Weiner regardless of the wishes of the minor’s father,” said Benjamin Cheeks, a former Manhattan assistant district attorney and assistant U.S. attorney now in private practice.
The FBI, which is the investigative arm for the U.S. Department of Justice, is reportedly probing the case. In addition, an NYPD source told FoxNews.com that “detectives are looking into the incident.”
Cheeks was careful to note that revelations that have been reported so far may not amount to a crime, but said Weiner's alleged actions "are so viscerally repulsive" that it could lead to new legislation criminalizing his behavior in the future.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, the minor detailed lurid alleged exchanges with Weiner, including claims Weiner indulged in "rape fantasies" and asked "strange questions.”
It was not the first time Weiner had been accused of extramarital dalliances via text.
In 2011, he resigned from Congress after he admitted to sending sexual messages to a 21-year-old Seattle woman. Two years later, he was caught up in another sexting scandal with a Princeton, Ind., woman named Sydney Leathers. That scandal derailed his bid for New York mayor, and was followed by another online tryst earlier this year with a 40-something unidentified woman.
A photo Weiner shared of himself clad in underwear near his son led his wife, top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, to file for divorce in August.
In the latest case, Weiner claimed that he was a victim of a hoax and issued a statement to Fox News.com when the story broke of his new alleged sexting scandal.
“I have repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgment about the people I have communicated with online and the things I have sent," Weiner said. "I am filled with regret and heartbroken for those I have hurt."
Weiner's claim that he has "been the subject of a hoax" was not dismissed out of hand by a source close to the victim's family.
“This is something she would do," the source said. "It sounds like her. It's crazy to me. She wants to be a writer. She's 16 and super smart. If she wants something, she'll find a way to get it."
In order to determine if Weiner’s claims of a “hoax” are correct, federal prosecutors could subpoena his and the minor’s cell phone records, according to New York criminal defense attorney, Lance Fletcher.
“It would make it very clear what message was sent from and to his phone," Fletcher said. "This subpoena could also reveal the date, time and location of his device during the conversations. If the most explicit statements came from her, he will probably be okay. He can't be charged if the sexually explicit material was written by her and if he did not send or receive any photos.”
Weiner could also wriggle out of trouble if he can show he did not know his sexting partner was just a kid, said Cheeks.
“If Weiner did not know that the female was a minor, it could be helpful," Cheeks said. "Oftentimes, a crime involving a minor requires that the suspect knows that victim is indeed a minor.”
Weiner did not respond to requests for comment.