CHICAGO, Ill -- Former Subway spokesman and Indiana native Jared Fogle is back in the headlines today as he appealed to shorten his prison sentence.
Fogle’s attorney Ron Elberger argued in front of a panel of judges in a Chicago courtroom that Judge Tanya Walton Pratt overstepped her authority when she sentenced Fogle back in November 2015 in Indianapolis.
Pratt sentenced Fogle to 15 and a half years in prison despite the fact that the maximum prison sentence prosecutors recommended in accordance with a plea on child pornography and child sex charges was 12.5 years.
Elberger argued that Pratt erroneously sentenced Fogle on his fantasies – not the facts.
"The entire import of the arguments is focused around her erroneous determination of certain facts," he said after the hearing Friday.
According to Elberger, even though Jared Fogle talked about having sex with young minors, he never actually followed through with many of those statements, except in the cases of two teen girls for which Fogle entered a plea of guilty.
“It was all talk and no substance because with regard to those conversations; there was no ultimately chargeable criminal conduct,” said Elberger.
Elberger also emphasized that Fogle did not produce or distribute child porn, and he just took what Russell Taylor gave him.
Assistant US Attorney Steven DeBrota argued to the appeals judges that Pratt’s tough sentence was justified because Fogle knew some of the victims personally, and he knew who was producing the child porn. DeBrota also said that another aggravating factor was that he traveled all over the US to seek out sex with minors, even asking adult prostitutes to provide underage partners.
In the cases of two teens, Fogle's efforts were successful. DeBrota said those teens Fogle had sex with in New York City were victims of human trafficking, who worked for a violent pimp.
He called Fogle's actions a pattern of behavior.
“I think Judge Pratt gave more than a dozen reasons why she ordered a sentence a little higher than I requested — and I think those reasons are solid under the law,” said DeBrota.
Both sides were given 10 minutes to argue their case, and the panel of three judges didn’t ask either side any questions.
The decision of that panel will be issued in writing, and it could take a couple of months for to find out if Fogle’s sentence will stay or is overturned.