U.S. attorney: Jared Fogle used ‘wealth, status and secrecy’ to exploit children – Chicago Tribune

Longtime Subway pitchman Jared Fogle agreed Wednesday to plead guilty to allegations that he paid for sex acts with minors and received child pornography in a case that destroyed his career at the sandwich-shop chain and could send him to prison for more than a decade.

Prosecutors allege that Fogle knew the pornography had been secretly produced by the former director of his charitable foundation, which sought to raise awareness about childhood obesity and arranged for Fogle to visit schools and urge children to adopt healthy eating and exercise habits.

Authorities said Fogle offered to pay adult prostitutes a finder’s fee if they could connect him with minors for sex acts, including some as young as 14 or 15 years old.

“This is about using wealth, status and secrecy to illegally exploit children,” U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said.

A tight-lipped Fogle sat in federal court with his hands clasped and quietly answered “no” when the judge asked whether he had any questions about his rights. He is expected to enter the formal plea at a later date to one count each of travelling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and distribution and receipt of child pornography.

The agreement released by prosecutors said Fogle will pay $1.4 million in restitution to 14 minor victims, who will each receive $100,000. He will also be required to register as a sex offender and undergo treatment for sexual disorders.

The government agreed not to seek a sentence of more than 12½ years in prison, and Fogle agreed not to ask for less than five years, according to court documents.

Federal judges have wide discretion in sentencing, and Fogle could get a longer sentence. The child-porn charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The count involving sex with a minor is punishable by up to 30 years.