Jared Fogle Gets 15 Years for Sex With Minors

     INDIANAPOLIS (CN) – Surpassing the terms of a plea deal, a federal judge sentenced Jared Fogle to more than 15 years in federal prison Thursday for viewing child porn and having sex with minors.
     Fogle, 38, sobbed his way through a prepared statement at today’s hearing, during which he apologized for the pain he caused, but U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt had no pity for the former Subway sandwiches pitchman.
     Clad in a suit for his court appearance, Fogle did not issue any statement before the five-hour hearing and was remanded into federal custody after proceedings concluded just before 2 p.m. this afternoon.
     The hearing came three months after Fogle pleaded guilty to one count of receiving and distributing child pornography, and to one count of travelling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
     Though the underage prostitutes whom Fogle hired between 2010 and 2013 were 16 and 17 years old, text message showed that he was trying to have sex with girls as young as 14.
     The other count on which Fogle was convicted involved a stash of pornographic images of minors, many of which he received from the former head of his children’s foundation, Russell Taylor.
     Taylor pleaded guilty in September to his own child-pornography charges, and admitted to filming nude children, some as young as 6 years old.
     Judge Pratt emphasized at Thursday’s hearing that she was very perturbed that Fogle knew and had actually met the individuals whom Taylor filmed secretly for porn.
     Prosecutors had agreed not to seek a sentence of longer than 151 months in prison, but Pratt cited the details of Fogle’s actions in applying the longer 188-month sentence. Pratt had leeway to put Fogle away for up to 50 years.
     In addition to the prepared statement Fogle gave, defense attorneys Jeremy Margolis and Andrew Devooght also called two medical experts to talk about Fogle’s sickness.
     They claimed Fogle was not at a high risk of offending again, with one even describing the defendant’s infraction as “mild pedophilia.” Pratt slammed this allusion later while handing down her sentence, saying that “there is no such thing as mild pedophilia.”
     In a Nov. 12 request for leniency, the defense had noted that Fogle is “profoundly sorry” and has already paid the 14 victims a total of $1.4 million in restitution.
     With Fogle’s wife now divorcing him, the defense urged the court to think of this woman living now as a single mother.
     Pratt interrupted this argument to highlight the $7 million that Fogle’s wife will get in the divorce. “I think she’ll be fine,” Pratt said.
     Two rows of Fogle supporters were in tears as Pratt handed down the sentence, which includes lifetime supervision after his release from prison and a lifetime status as a registered sex offender. In addition to the $1.4 million in restitution, Fogle must pay the government $175,000 in fines, plus another $50,000 in lieu of forfeiting property.
     Fogle gained fame after losing weight by eating Subway sandwiches about 15 years ago. He became the popular sandwich chain’s spokesman soon after, amassing an estimated wealth of $15 million.
     Authorities built a rock-solid case against Fogle after an FBI raid of his Zionsville home in July allowed them to seize computers, media-storage devices, cellphone records and other data.
     Fogle’s friend Taylor is set to be sentenced in December.
     Since Fogle’s first court appearance in August, more disturbing details surfaced about his crimes, including recordings made by a former Florida journalist named Rochelle Herman-Walrond, who recorded numerous Fogle phone calls with help from the FBI.
     The calls were released to the public on the syndicated Dr. Phil television talk show, and depict in horrific detail Fogle’s methods of grooming children, and his want and admission to, performing sex acts with young children.
     “I like all ages,” Fogle said in the recordings. “That’s the thing, I mean, I like all of them.”
     While the FBI has not confirmed Herman-Warlond’s story, court documents do point to a Florida witness, and recorded conversations regarding Fogle’s desire to have sex with minors.
     Judge Pratt noted that the court could not take this evidence into account for the sentencing.
     Since the FBI raid on Fogle’s home, Subway has severed all ties with Fogle, telling the world via Twitter that, “We no longer have a relationship with Jared and have no further comment.”

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