The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the sentence of disgraced Subway pitchman Jared Fogle in a decision released Thursday.
Fogle was the public face of Subway, one of the nation’s largest restaurant chains, for over a decade, appearing in commercials and promotional material. In 2015, he was convicted of distributing and receiving child pornography, conspiring to distribute and receive child pornography, and traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, after he was implicated in an Indiana state police probe into Russell Taylor, an associate of the sandwich slinger who produced child pornography.
The investigation revealed that Fogle offered adult prostitutes a finders fee for referring young sex partners to him, telling one madame he “craved” underage Asian females.
Fogle pled guilty to all counts, and negotiated a plea deal in which the U.S. Attorney agreed not to pursue a jail term great than 151 months. The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines recommend 135 to 168 months for Fogle’s offenses. In November 2015, Fogle was sentenced to 188 months, nearly 16 years. The judge who imposed the sentence explained that Fogle’s conduct warranted an above-guidelines sentence. Fogle fought the sentence. (RELATED: Jared Fogle Beaten In Prison)
On appeal, Fogle argued the lower court made procedural and substantive errors in handing down the sentence. He claimed that the district court was unduly influenced by his relationship with Taylor, a notorious producer of child porn, that the court based its sentences on his fantasies rather than his actual conduct, and that it erroneously based its sentence on his acquisition of child pornography because he did not actually solicit them.
The appellate court was unconvinced.
“Fogle’s attempt to diminish the conduct underlying his conviction for distribution is unavailing,” the Seventh Circuit’s decision read. “The district court properly considered the fact that Fogle received and distributed pornography depicting a six year old. It is clear from the record—and Fogle did not dispute before the district court— that he received such material, viewed it, and distributed it to another individual. He now tries to obscure this admission by claiming that he did not affirmatively ask for that particular material. Because there is no question that Fogle willingly received and distributed this material, the district court did not err by considering these specific details in assessing Fogle’s sentence.”
There are currently no Subway franchises in the federal prison system.
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