Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle was sentenced to over 15 years behind bars Thursday for child porn and sex crime charges — after tearfully telling the judge he wants to become a "good, honest person."
"I want to redeem my life," said Fogle, his voice cracking with emotion as he wiped his eyes during his sentencing.
A federal judge in Indianapolis sentenced Fogle to 188 months for one count of traveling to engage in sexual conduct with a minor and one count of receiving child pornography. He will serve his time concurrently, and won't be eligible for parole before 13 years.
His attorneys had asked for a lighter sentence of five years in prison, arguing that he's already "lost everything" and will live with the consequences of his behavior for the rest of his life. Prosecutors sought 12-1/2 years.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ordered Fogle into custody immediately, and recommended he go to federal prison in Colorado with a sex offender treatment program.
|Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle arrives at the federal courthouse in |
Indianapolis on Nov. 19, 2015. Michael Conroy / AP
The diet guru's weight loss journey made him a national celebrity before the child porn scandal brought an end to his career. Experts had testified Thursday that he fantasized about young girls and had a sex drive that ramped up after he begun shedding the pounds.
Fogle recounted how he tried to live an honorable life before he was caught up in "deception, lies and complete self-centeredness."
Since his arrest in August, he said, he's "learned so much about the underage minors with whom I've paid to have sex with."
"Not a day will go by that I don't think about them, what I did and the impact on their lives," he added.
Under a plea deal, he must also register as a sex offender after his release and have his digital devices monitored. He must also pay a fine of $175,000.
Pratt, in reviewing the case to the courtroom Thursday, said that the images involved children as young as 6 and that Fogle asked adult prostitutes to procure children for him in various states.
Before the sentencing, prosecutors and defense teams sparred in court over whether Fogle could have controlled himself — and whether he can be rehabilitated.
Hard to tell from here, but his remorse seems genuine, and if so, he has a good chance of being rehabilitated.
Dr. John Bradford, a forensic psychiatrist testifying on behalf of the defense, said Fogle had a compulsive eating disorder and that after losing weight, he substituted food for a sense of "hypersexuality." That included a "mild case" of pedophilia in which he became attracted to female teenagers, Bradford said.
He added that there was a low to moderate risk of Fogle relapsing.
But the prosecution highlighted his texts and emails to convince the judge he deserved a harsher punishment.
In one exchange, Fogle offered to pay $300 for a 15-year-old who could prove her age, prosecutors said: "It's what I crave," he wrote.
The federal judge earlier said the father of two is allowed to have contact with his young children, but he can't appeal the conditions of a supervised release.
Fogle during his statement to the judge said telling his children what he did will be the "hardest conversation of my life."
Fogle had been the face of the sandwich chain since he was featured in a commercial in 2000. Once a 425-pound undergraduate at Indiana University, Fogle said he began eating at Subway to help him drop 245 pounds.
But after his suburban Indianapolis home was raided in July as part of a child pornography investigation, Subway cut ties with the spokesman. Fogle's wife also said she planned to divorce him.
Since his arrest, Fogle has already paid $100,000 in restitution to each of his 14 victims.
Those victims — four of whom are now adults — were identified after police say they reviewed nearly 160,000 text messages, more than 27,000 emails, and tens of thousands of videos and images.
Two of those victims were 16 and 17 when Fogle traveled to New York City to pay them for sex at upscale hotels, prosecutors said in court documents.
He also received pornographic materials from Russell Taylor, the executive director of his charity, the Jared Foundation, investigators said. Taylor has separately agreed to plead guilty to child exploitation and child pornography charges.