Jared Fogle To Learn Sentence For Sex With Minors, Child Pornography
U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt will sentence former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle to a prison term Thursday, accepting a plea deal that sees him admit charges related to child pornography and repeatedly having sex with minors.
The sentencing hearing, which is not being televised, started at 9 a.m. ET. We'll update this post with news from the courthouse.
Prosecutors are seeking a punishment of around 12 years in prison, while Fogle's lawyers are asking for a sentence of around five years.
Fogle is reportedly paying about $1.4 million in total restitution to 14 victims, some of whom live in his home state of Indiana.
At today's hearing, Fogle's defense presented two medical experts, including Canadian forensic psychiatrist Dr. John Bradford, who testified by phone that his tests of Fogle found evidence of hypersexuality.
Bradford also said that Fogle has a compulsive drive — and that "When he lost weight it seemed that in a short period of time he developed compulsive sexuality," as Adriana Diaz of CBS News reports.
Fogle's lawyer also sought to clarify that while his client had had sex with minors, his victims were adolescents and not children, The Indianapolis Star says. The prosecutor in the case also noted that investigators determined that Fogle had not abused his own children. Fogle has been married for five years and is the father of two children under the age of 10.
But as Jordan Fischer of local RTV6 Indianapolis reports, some of the child pornography victims in the case were as young as 6.
At today's hearing, Pratt noted that as early as 2007, Fogle repeatedly discussed his interest in having sex with minors, RTV6's Fischer reports. Citing audio recordings of Fogle, she said he also offered to pay prostitutes to find teenagers willing to have sex with him.
Fogle acknowledged that those details are accurate.
As the Star reports, Pratt "is widely considered the toughest judge in the Southern District in terms of prison sentences."
The plea deal was reached in mid-August, after Fogle, 38, was charged with traveling to other states in order to pay to have sex with underage minors. It was a startling turn of events for the man who became a national celebrity by smilingly telling his story of how eating Subway sandwiches had helped him lose weight.
The seriousness of the case became apparent almost immediately, as reports of a wide-ranging investigation into Fogle were followed by a raid of his home — and details of his activities were publicly revealed by a female confidante who had worked with the FBI to gather evidence against him.
Soon after the raid of Fogle's home, Subway announced it had severed all ties with him. That outcome, and the prison sentence pronounced today, all began with a single message to the police about Fogle.
"This entire investigation started with one lone tip to a state police officer," Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said in August.
As the U.S. attorney's office in southern Indiana noted at the time Fogle was charged:
"His child pornography crime began when he learned that alleged co-conspirator Russell Taylor was sexually exploiting a 14 year old girl in March 2011. At that time, Mr. Fogle did nothing to stop the abuse or report it to authorities, but chose instead to receive and repeatedly view the child pornography involving the girl and those other minors produced by his alleged co-conspirator in the years that followed. It total, Mr. Fogle admitted in court pleadings filed today that his actions caused the sexual victimization of a total of 12 minors in Indiana before his co-conspirator's arrest in April 2015. He preyed on minor victims who did not have the ability to protect themselves."
As the Two-Way reported in August, at the time of the infractions, Taylor was running Fogle's charitable foundation. He has reached his own plea deal and is expected to be sentenced in December.
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