Former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle was sentenced Thursday to more than 15 years in federal prison, after pleading guilty to child pornography and sex crime charges.
Fogle agreed in August to plead guilty to one count each of travelling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and distribution and receipt of child pornography. The charges followed a July raid on his suburban Indianapolis home. The resulting criminal case destroyed his career as the public face of the nation's largest sandwich restaurant chain.
Prosecutors sought a 12 1/2-year sentence, while Fogle's attorneys asked for five years. Judge Tanya Pratt cited the serious nature of Fogle's offenses in a sentence that went beyond the prosecution's recommendations and said Fogle will have a lifetime of supervision after his release.
Before the 38-year-old was sentenced Thursday, his defense called forensic psychiatrist Dr. John Bradford, who has researched pedophilia and said he evaluated Fogle. Bradford, who addressed the court by phone, said Fogle's "hypersexuality" was heightened by the extreme weight loss he experienced in college. Fogle was hired by Subway 15 years ago after he credited the sandwichesand daily walks to a franchise of the chain for helping him lose more than 200 pounds in a year.
Bradford said Fogle suffered from "mild pedophilia," CBS affiliate WTTV reports, which the prosecution argued is not an accepted diagnosis in the scientific community.
The prosecution noted that Fogle owned child pornography that featured children as young as six years old.
Prosecutors later called an Indianapolis detective who read text messages sent by Fogle soliciting underage prostitution.
"I'll pay you big for a 14 or 15-year-old," Fogle wrote. "If you get me 16 or below, I'll pay you $400 for a finders fee and I'll pay her $300."
In another conversation, he wrote to an alleged Kansas City prostitute, "The younger the better lol" and "Girl or boy is fine actually."
Calling his crimes "pathetic," Fogle's attorney argued that he should receive the minimum sentence agreed to the plea deal, in part because Fogle never personally produced child pornography, and because of the damage done to his reputation.
"No one wants to be Jared Fogle. He is a laughing stock, a pariah, and he did it to himself," a lawyer said, according to WTTV.
Fogle addressed the court before his sentencing, saying that for most of his life he tried to be a role model for children, but "somewhere along the line" his life spiraled out of control.
"At the time, I truly did not understand what I was doing as well as the consequences of my actions," Fogel said, according to WTTV. "At the time, I thought that because I was paying them it was okay."
Fogle said he intended to use his time in prison to help people, and said he regretted that his ex-wife, who filed for divorce his arrest, would raise their children as a single mother.
"You gave your wife $7 million so she should be fine," said Judge Tanya Pratt, while Fogle was still issuing his statement.
Fogle admitted paying for sex with girls as young as 16 and receiving child pornography produced by Russell Taylor, the former executive director of The Jared Foundation, a nonprofit Fogle started to raise awareness and money to fight childhood obesity.
Girls as young as six appeared in photos or videos from Taylor, according to prosecutors. At the hearing Thursday, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Detective Darin Odier testified that Fogle knew at least three of the children in Taylor's videos, and prosecutors indicated they will seek a harsher sentence in Taylor's case.
Court documents detailing the charges against the 38-year-old father of two say that Fogle had sex at New York City hotels with two girls under age 18 - one of whom was 16 at the time - and paid them for it.
Fogle has agreed to pay a total of $1.4 million to his 14 victims, with each getting $100,000. He became a Subway spokesman after shedding more than 200 pounds as a college student, in part, he said, by eating the chain's sandwiches.
As of last week, 11 of those victims had received their restitution and the three others should have arrangements in place to be paid by Fogle's sentencing hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven DeBrota said.