INDIANAPOLIS -- A federal judge sentenced former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle to 188 months (more than 15 years) in prison during a hearing Thursday inside a federal courtroom in Indianapolis.
Fogle, who was charged in a child exploitation case, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to receive child pornography and traveling to have sex with minors, according to WXIN.
Fogle’s attorneys worked out a plea deal with federal prosecutors in August and agreed to plead guilty. Prosecutors had requested a sentence of 12.5 years, while Fogle’s attorneys asked for 5 years. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt told Fogle the court had the authority to sentence him to up to 50 years.
Fogle told the court he understood the terms of his plea agreement and said he was pleading guilty of his own free will. During a tearful statement, Fogle called his own conduct "horrible" and said he went from being a person with good values to one who became deceptive and self-centered.
"I have become dependent on alcohol, pornography and prostitutes," he told the court.
"Not a day will go by where I won't think of (the victims). I hope the restitution will help in their lives," he said.
"It is my intent to learn from these experiences so that I never, ever do these things again," he said. "I take full responsibility for what I've done."
Fogle had no visible reaction when the sentence was announced Thursday afternoon.
Under the agreement, Fogle isn’t allowed to have unsupervised meetings with minors. The court granted an exception requested by Fogle’s lawyers: he can see his children without supervision.
Under supervised release, Fogle will be constantly monitored on electronic devices including computers and cell phones. He also paid $1.4 million to 14 minor victims in the case for counseling, support and recovery. If additional victims are found, the court said they could also receive restitution from Fogle.
In April, Fogle’s friend and associate Russell Taylor was arrested in a child pornography investigation. That later led to a raid at Fogle’s home in Zionsville. Investigators combed through thousands of text messages, emails, photos and videos in connection with the case.
Taylor was accused of recording minors without their consent. Fogle viewed those videos, prosecutors said, and knew what Taylor was doing. He didn't do anything to stop him, prosecutors argued, adding that Fogle knew some of the minors. Taylor also provided him with commercial child pornography. According to court documents, Fogle paid to have sex with minors, contacting prostitutes in order to facilitate the encounters.
In court Thursday, Fogle acknowledged wrongdoing, leading to a two-level reduction in sentencing. Fogle waived his right to appeal.
JARED S. FOGLE SENTENCED IN CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASE
DOJ PRESS RELEASE
Indianapolis – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today the sentencing of Jared S. Fogle after being convicted of distributing and receiving child pornography and traveling in interstate commerce to engage in unlawful commercial sex acts with minors. Fogle, 38, of Zionsville, Indiana, was sentenced to 188 months (15 ½ years) in federal prison by U. S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in federal court in Indianapolis.
“Earlier today, the Honorable Tanya Walton Pratt sentenced Jared S. Fogle to 188 months (15 ½ years) in prison. While no sentence will bring back the innocence or relieve the pain of Fogle’s victims, Judge Pratt properly rejected Fogle’s plea for a 5 year sentence and imposed an appropriate sentence of 15 and ½ years. My office works within the federal sentencing laws, and this community has my word that the law was followed today. Those who engage in child exploitation received a clear message today. If you engage in this conduct, you will be investigated, identified, and prosecuted, and you will go to prison.”
Minkler further stated, “my office will continue to protect victims of child exploitation through aggressive prosecution and a close working relationship with law enforcement.”
Between March 2001 and May 2015, Fogle received and viewed child pornography some given to him by his co-conspirator, Russell Taylor (federally charged separately, May 2015). Fogle did this to fuel his sexual fantasies involving children. The child pornography Fogle viewed included homemade material involving victims in Indiana as well as commercially produced files Taylor obtained through internet sources. Fogle knew that the children depicted in the homemade images or videos were under the age of 18 years. He also knew of Taylor’s family relationship or association with the victims, including in many instances, their actual names.
In November 2012, Fogle traveled to New York City and engaged in commercial sex with a 17 year old minor in a hotel there. After the encounter, he sent the victim text messages, offering to pay her a fee if she could find other underage girls to have sex with him. In January 2013, he returned to New York City and engaged in commercial sex with the same victim knowing she was under 18 years old. Fogle later returned to New York and engaged in commercial sex with yet another underage minor.
This case was the result of a joint federal, state and local investigation by the Indiana State Police, Indianapolis Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, with the assistance of the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.
Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said, "The Jared Fogle chapter is now closed with the announcement of his sentencing and his removal from a free society. But, tragically, we know sexual crimes against children won't end; there are others who think they won't be caught. Carter concluded, "So with this announcement we also take the opportunity to encourage, in the strongest words possible, any past or current victims of unreported child sex crimes to seek help from law enforcement and bring these vile criminals to justice."
“In our society, children are our most precious resource,” said IMPD Chief Rick Hite. “It is our collective responsibility to protect them from predators and bring to justice anyone who causes them hurt, harm, or danger.”
“As with all child pornography cases, the FBI investigates these cases with a sense of urgency due to the extreme vulnerability of the victims involved; our children,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge, W. Jay Abbott. “This case demonstrates that commitment to investigate those who would possess child pornography. The FBI looks forward to continuing its work on such matters with the United States Attorney’s Office, the Indiana State Police and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.”
According to Senior Litigation Counsel Steven D. DeBrota, who is prosecuted the case for the government, Fogle must pay a $175,000 fine and serve a lifetime of supervised release after his sentence.
Fogle also agreed to pay a total of $1,400,000 in restitution to the 14 victims in the case, 8 of whom are still minors, and forfeit assets of $50,000. This is the largest amount of restitution ever ordered for a child pornography or sex trafficking case in the history of the Southern District of Indiana. The victims will be able to use these funds to pay for counseling and treatment to combat the debilitating life effects of these crimes.