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Jared Fogle's Latest Pitch: A Plea for a Shorter Sentence

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on May 25, 2016 6:59 AM

Jared Fogle, the disgraced former Subway pitchman, is attempting to reduce his sentence by pushing an argument that's sure to cause a stir: sex fantasies with minors cannot support an enhanced sentence.

It's an argument that some legal analysts regard with some skepticism, particular when seen in context of the rest of Fogle's conduct, some of which famously includes traveling specifically to engage in sex with an underage girl. Whichever way this turns out, this case will not simply fizzle away.

The Disgraced Pitchman

Everyone knows Jared Fogle. Once famous for his advertising endeavor with Subway, he's now notorious as the face of child pornography scandals. He ended up pleading guilty to counts of distributing and receiving child pornography as well as being guilty of traveling with the specific intent of engaging in sexual activity with a child.

Fogel's Plea

Fogle is arguing before the court that the judge confused Fogle's conduct with the production of child pornography and also abused her discretion in considering his sexual fantasies with minors when she lengthened his prison term.

The gist of his attorney's argument was that Fogle did not actually engage in sexual contact with underage girls and was being punished unfairly for his thinking and fantasizing of sex with them. In the words of Fogle's counsel, "It was all talk and no substance."

Where Does a Crime Begin?

It's an interesting argument and it will be even more interesting to see if the Seventh Circuit sides with him -- because it would be political suicide for anyone to voice agreement with Fogle's argument that fantasies for egregious crimes ought not be used to enhance a criminal's sentence. In Fogle's case, the political sentiment against him is particularly bad since it became clear that he'd asked adult-aged prostitutes to procure underage girls for sex and that he'd paid up and traveled across state lines to do just that.

We're not sure what Fogle's chances for a reduced sentence are. The most recent case that we can find that is tangentially related is the "Cannibal Cop" case decided in favor of Gilberto Valle. That was a different circuit, but who knows. Of course, Fogle is a special case.

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