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article imageEx-Subway pitchman Jared Fogle sentenced in child-sex case

By Megan Hamilton     Nov 20, 2015 in Crime
Indianapolis - Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle was sentenced to nearly 16 years in prison Thursday for allegedly trading in child pornography and having sex with underage prostitutes.
He was also sentenced to lifetime supervision.
Disregarding prosecutor's recommendations that Fogle receive 12-1/2 years in prison, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt levied a stiffer sentence of 15 years and eight months, The Los Angeles Times reports. She also ordered him to pay a $175,000 fine. She could have slapped him with up to 50 years behind bars.
As part of a deal struck with prosecutors in August, Fogle pleaded guilty to one count each of allegedly traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and alleged distribution and receipt of child pornography. The charges came after a raid on his home in Indianapolis in July.
The allegations revealed during the hearing were shocking, The Daily Beast reports, including more than 600 images of child pornography — in some cases with children as young as six; he had sex with 16- and 17-year old girls who were trafficking victims; it's also alleged he spent a minimum of $12,000 per year on prostitutes.
Traveling to New York City, Fogle met the girls at the Ritz-Carlton and Plaza hotels.
At one point he reportedly offered an 18-year-old Las Vegas prostitute $400 to solicit a young victim.
"Did you find me some young girls or boys?" he texted the woman, according to testimony from a detective.
On the Dr. Phil show last month, a former journalist revealed a secretly taped audio of Fogle talking about sex with children, and how he could lure a child away from a pool party.
Justice Pratt reflected on how much Fogle had thrown away, IndyStar reported.
"What a gift, to have such a professional windfall in your lap."
His marriage, his career, and his reputation have all fallen away, along with his freedom.
The judge also said she believed Fogle's remorse is sincere, and that he will get psychological care.
Fogle's attorneys had sought a five-year sentence, but Pratt went well beyond the expectations of either side, Reuters reports.
"The defendant was obsessed with child pornography and sex with minors," she said. Fogle was handed into custody of a U.S. Marshall. Pratt recommended he be sent to a Littleton, Colorado federal prison.
The defense brought in Dr. John Bradford, a forensic psychiatrist to testify at the sentencing hearing, and he said Fogle, 38, was mainly attracted to older female teenagers around 16 and 17 years old, not young children.
Prosecutors countered that by reading a text from Fogle asking for younger prostitutes, "the younger, the better."
Fogel has a problem with alcohol and a compulsive eating disorder that shifted to "hypersexuality" once he lost weight, Bradford said.
"He traded a horrible food addiction for a horrible sex addiction," defense attorney Jeremy Margolis said.
Further testimony revealed that Fogle knew one of his young victims so well that he could identify her just from a nude picture of her torso, IndyStar reported.
Fogle's secret life began to close, when it was simultaneously blown open in late April after police arrested Russell C. Taylor, former head of The Jared Foundation on alleged child pornography charges.
It's after Taylor took over the foundation that Fogle's illegal activities picked up speed. This included viewing images Taylor, who had hidden cameras all over his house, recorded of children, ages 9 to 16, changing clothes, showering, and bathing. One of the videos was more sexually explicit, IndyStar reports.
However, Fogle's alleged predilection for sex with minors goes all the way back to 2007, the year before Taylor became head of the foundation. He regularly checked online sites that had ads for escorts or erotic services, and arranged his illicit encounters around his schedule promoting the Subway sandwich chain and his foundation.
The defense tried to wend its way through two key arguments that were intended to try to explain Fogle's behavior.
The first argument was that Fogle has problems with impulse control and traded a food addiction (he weighed 420 pounds at one time) before slimming down, mostly due to eating Subway sandwiches, for a sex addiction. In the second argument, the defense psychiatrist said that Fogle was only a "mild" or "weak" pedophile. That argument was undercut by prosecutor Steven DeBrota when the next defense witness, a psychologist, said isn't a commonly accepted diagnosis.
When she announced the sentence, Pratt read from a statement by a victim's mother, who said her daughter,16, contemplated suicide and uses medication for sleep, depression, and anxiety.
Following his sentencing, U.S. marshals took Fogle to the Henderson County Detention Center in Kentucky, Colonel Amy Brady, the center's chief deputy of administration told IndyStar. Pratt granted the defense's request that she recommend Fogle be sent to the prison in Littleton, because it has a program for sex offenders. Ultimately, it's up to the Bureau of Prisons to make the final decision.
He will have to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence, and he won't be released until he is at least 51 years old. His kids will be teenagers.
"I will someday have to explain to them what I did," he told the court.
Reuters reports that Subway fired Fogle after reports of the plea agreement surfaced. He has already started paying $1.4 million in restitution to 14 victims who are minors.
The sentencing recommendation by prosecutors left the possibility for further charges against Fogle should other evidence emerge.
Court documents say that authorities have identified 12 child pornography victims in Indiana, and two teen victims of child prostitution in New York.
He will not be able to work or volunteer with unsupervised minors, and won't be able to see his own children unless there is an agreement by all involved.
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