INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Subway pitchman and now convicted child predator Jared Fogle filed a novel argument in his case this week: The judge who sentenced him was biased because, he says, she has teenage daughters.
Fogle, who is now representing himself in the case, filed a motion to recuse on Tuesday in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
In the motion, Fogle argues that Judge Tanya Walton Pratt – who sentenced him to more than 15 years in prison in November 2015 – should recuse herself from the case because she “has bias” against him.
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She is biased, he says, because Pratt “is a mother of (2) teenage daughters.” He also claims Pratt allowed an improper conspiracy charge to be filed against Fogle.
The motion will likely run into some trouble. For one thing, Pratt only has one child – and she was 24 years old at the time Fogle was sentenced.
And while the child pornography charge Fogle pleaded guilty to does contain “conspiracy” language, the language comes in the form of a nonrestrictive clause which doesn’t affect the underlying charge. The charge itself is about “distributing and receiving visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct” – which Fogle admitted to.
Fogle also pleaded guilty to a charge of child exploitation for crossing state lines to have sex with underage girls.
In his plea deal, Fogle admitted that 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. He also acknowledged receiving child pornography produced by Russell Taylor, the former executive director of The Jared Foundation, a nonprofit Fogle started to raise awareness and money to fight childhood obesity.
Even though he accepted a plea deal, Fogle is able to appeal his sentence because Pratt exceeded prosecutors’ recommended sentence of 12-and-a-half years in prison.
In delivering her sentence, Pratt said Fogle had been living in “a web of deception and depravity” for years.
Fogle appealed his sentence to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected his arguments in June 2016. In a motion filed earlier this year, Fogle asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up his case.
Fogle is currently serving his sentence at the federal penitentiary in Englewood, Colorado. He is projected to be released in July 2029.
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