INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jared Fogle's attorneys asked a judge for leniency Thursday, saying in court documents that the former Subway pitchman "is profoundly sorry" as he awaits sentencing on child pornography and sex-crime charges.
Fogle's lawyers are asking for a five-year prison term at next week's sentencing, the minimum they said they would seek when he 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.
Prosecutors submitted their own sentencing memorandum Thursday requesting a 12 ½-year term — the most they'd agreed to seek under the plea deal — and a lifetime of supervision following his release.
However, federal judges have wide discretion, and Judge Tanya Walton Pratt could go beyond the prosecution's recommendation at the Nov. 19 sentencing. The child-porn charge carries a maximum 20 years in prison, and the sex with a minor count is punishable by up to 30 years.
The sentencing requests were filed the same day one of the child-pornography victims receiving restitution from Fogle went public about her ordeal.
The girl, now 16, appeared on the syndicated Dr. Phil Show. She described being secretly recorded at age 14 by Russell Taylor, who ran a nonprofit Fogle started to raise awareness and money to fight childhood obesity.
Prosecutors have said Taylor secretly filmed minors and passed some photographs and videos of minors on to Fogle. The girl said she was among three youths who drank alcoholic beverages at Taylor's house and became intoxicated.
"He took my happiness," she said of Taylor. "He took my trust. He took my pride. Everything."
U.S. Attorney's office spokesman Tim Horty said Thursday "it's very unusual" for federal prosecutors to confirm victims of child pornography, but said he could confirm she was among Fogle's 14 victims because the teenager chose "to make herself public."
The show identified the girl only as Annalissa, and there were no efforts to obscure her appearance during the on-camera interview
In their sentencing recommendations, prosecutors said the facts in the case "provide a window to Fogle's history and character." The court filing discloses that investigators found that Fogle "has paid for commercial sexual activity with adults on hundreds of occasions."
Authorities said Taylor secretly filmed 12 minors as they were nude, changing clothes, or engaged in other activities using hidden cameras in his Indianapolis-area residences to produce child pornography. He has agreed to plead guilty to child exploitation and child pornography charges.
Prosecutors said in Thursday's filing that Fogle received photos or videos from Taylor of eight of those 12 youths, receiving images of girls as young as 12. Fogle could have stopped Taylor from victimizing some of minors, prosecutors have said, but they say he instead encouraged Taylor to produce additional child pornography.
In the government's filing, prosecutors said that "Fogle has sacrificed absolutely everything he had built - including his family - to engage in sexually explicit conduct with two minors. He emboldened a molester and a producer of child pornography."
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 that sex.
Fogle became a Subway spokesman after shedding more than 200 pounds as a college student, in part by eating the chain's sandwiches. Subway ended its relationship with Fogle after authorities raided his suburban Indianapolis home in July.
Fogle has agreed to pay a total of $1.4 million to his 14 victims, with each getting $100,000. As of Thursday, 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.