Zionsville resident Jared Fogle was remanded to the U.S. Marshals Service immediately following his sentencing Thursday afternoon, Nov. 19, on charges of distributing and receiving child pornography and traveling in interstate commerce to engage in unlawful commercial sex acts with minors.
According to Steve DeBrota, who prosecuted the case for the state, the marshals will transport Fogle to a holding facility until it's been decided where he'll serve the 15.5 years to which Judge Tanya Walton Pratt sentenced him. Defense attorney Jeremy Margolis requested that Fogle be placed in a federal prison at Littleton, Colorado, where there's a good program for sex offenders, and Judge Pratt agreed to "strongly recommend" that facility.
Margolis had asked the judge for a five-year sentence, and the prosecution had asked for 12.5 years. Pratt applied an "upward variance," giving Fogle more time than the advisory sentencing guidelines suggested.
"The way we drafted the plea agreement allowed her that discretion," DeBrota said.
U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said in a press release: "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 five-year sentence and imposed an appropriate sentence of 15 and a half 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."
Pratt explained there were aggravating circumstances based on Fogle's history and character and the "perverse" nature of the case.
"The guidelines do not account for the number of victims," Pratt said. "The guidelines do not account for the effect on the victims."
She explained that some of the victims had written letters, and one victim's mother wrote that her daughter, now 16, had contemplated suicide and was taking several medications, including anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications.
The length of time Fogle pursued his obsessions was another factor Pratt mentioned, pointing out conduct going as far back as 2007.
"He went to great lengths to engage in sex acts with minors," she said.
The judge emphasized Fogle reached out to prostitutes in other states and traveled to other states to meet them, racking up airfare and bills at upscale hotels. She said he estimated spending about $12,000 annually on prostitutes.
After his arrest, Fogle sought out treatment for sexual disorders with the assistance of his attorneys. Those professionals diagnosed him with hypersexuality, "mild" pedophilia and evidence of alcohol abuse. Since that time, he's been treated for those issues and will continue treatment in prison.
While commendable, Pratt said, she questioned why he didn't seek treatment sooner if he thought he had a problem.
"The same money that got him world-class doctors could've gotten him world-class treatment," Pratt said
In his statement to the judge, a tearful Fogle said he hadn't realized until he began treatment that his actions victimized the minors with whom he had sex or who he viewed in pornography.
"My actions allowed them to be victimized," he said. "I really hope the restitution will help them get their lives in order."
Twelve victims have received $100,000 each from Fogle. There was a problem submitting checks for two more, so that money now has been turned over to the government, which will take care of their restitution, according to Margolis.
Fogle also talked about his regret at letting so many people down and the impact on his family — including how his wife will be a single mom, and how he'll have to someday explain his actions to his children, who are now too young to understand.
"You gave your wife $7 million, though," Judge Pratt said. "She'll be OK."
DeBrota said he thought Pratt explained her reasoning very thoroughly, and the U.S. Attorney's Office accepts it. Margolis refused comment.
DeBrota said the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indiana State Police and FBI worked very hard to make the case, with help from the Postal Inspection Service.
"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."
U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said his office will "continue to protect victims of child exploitation through aggressive prosecution and a close working relationship with law enforcement."
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