Jared Fogle plead guilty to two crimes:
- Traveling to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor
- Distribution and receipt of child pornography
Fogle agreed to a plea deal with the prosecution. According to the terms of the deal, the prosecution agreed to pursue no more than 12 1/2 years in federal prison and Fogle agreed to ask for no less than five years of incarceration. An adult who engages in sexual acts with a minor is already guilty of breaking the law. However, traveling across state lines and paying for the sexual actions can significantly enhance the criminal charges as well as the potential punishments.
Fogle also plead guilty to exchanging and receiving child pornography. According to the accusations, Fogle’s business partner created sexual videos involving young children and then shared them with Fogle. It is a crime to knowingly receive this kind of material but Fogle went one step further. In addition to receiving the illegal pornographic material, he also plead guilty to sharing it with others. This action can also significantly increase the severity of the punishment.
In some ways, Jared Fogle’s behavior was his own downfall. According a to co-worker, Jared allegedly mentioned his desire for having sex with underage children. Over a period of several years, Jared allegedly made inappropriate comments about minors and expressed his desire to meet with young children.
Some of these alleged comments were captured on a recording by an acquaintance of Fogle. When Fogle’s business partner was found to be in possession of child pornography, Fogle immediately dismissed his business partner and claimed to be shocked by the allegations. However, shortly thereafter, the recordings of his comments were released and Fogle’s house was raided by federal agents.
This is a common pattern in cases involving child pornography. In many cases, a person who is involved with child pornography will make comments to friends or acquaintances about their habits. Once this information is passed to the authorities, a federal raid is often close behind.
Fogle managed to negotiate a plea deal with federal prosecutors. In exchange for giving up his right to appeal and agreeing to accept a minimum sentence of five years, the prosecutors agreed to a maximum sentence of 12 1/2 years. This resulted in a sentence including:
- Between five and 12 1/2 years in a federal penitentiary
- Registration as a sex offender upon release from prison
- Mandatory restitution of $1.4 million to his 14 victims
It is not uncommon for a judge to mandate financial restitution to the victims of a sexual offender. This is especially applicable in Fogle’s case, because he was a reported net worth of $15 million.
Although this case took place in Indiana, a similar result may have been achieved under Texas law. According to Section 21 of the Texas Penal Code, a person who commits a sexual offense against a minor may face:
- Conviction on a first degree felony
- Imprisonment for a minimum of 25 years or up to 99 years
- Mandatory financial restitution to the victims
Jared Fogle could have been sentenced to decades in federal prison. His attorneys were able to negotiate a plea deal for a significantly lighter sentence. A person who has been accused of similar crimes should contact a criminal defense attorney in order to create a solid legal defense for a trial. If successful, this could lead to lowered or dropped charges.
Have you been accused of a sex crime? Brett A. Podolsky can provide the representation you deserve. Contact us today at 713-227-0087.