Sentence upheld for former Subway pitchman Fogle in child porn case

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Federal Appeals Court Upholds Child Pornography Sentence For Jared Fogle

June 9 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court in Chicago on Thursday upheld former Subway sandwich pitchman Jared Fogle's 15-1/2-year prison sentence for child pornography.

Fogle, 38, who became famous after losing weight on a diet that included sandwiches from the fast-food chain, pleaded guilty on Nov. 19, 2015, to charges of child pornography and traveling for illicit paid sex with minors.

But he appealed his sentence by a U.S. District Court in Indiana of 188 months in federal prison, saying it was longer than indicated by sentencing guidelines and inappropriately imposed.

PHOTOS: Jared Fogle through the years

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Jared Fogle the Subway guy through the years
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Sentence upheld for former Subway pitchman Fogle in child porn case
Subway pitchman Jared Fogle shows off his old pants to students at Mary E. Bryant Elementary School in Tampa, Fla., Friday, Oct. 31, 2003. Fogle is better known as "Jared the Subway Guy," famous because he lost 245 pounds a few years ago by eating Subway subs and not much else. Fogle spoke to the students nutrition. (AP Photo/David Kadlubowski)
In this photograph taken by AP Images for SUBWAY - Celebrity chef Robert Irvine, left, challenges "The Subway Guy" Jared Fogle to build the most flavorful breakfast sandwich during the SUBWAY "Better Breakfast Battle," Thursday, May 26, 2011, in New York. (Diane Bondareff/AP Images for SUBWAY)
In this photo taken by AP Images for SUBWAY, Houston football star Arian Foster, right, and Jared Fogle, "the SUBWAY guy," are seen eating SUBWAY sandwiches at the SUBWAY All-Star BBQ on Wednesday, July 13, 2011, in Los Angeles. The event marked the launch of the sandwich chain's BBQ Pulled Pork sub and helped raise funds for victims of recent disasters in western Alabama, one of the original homes of BBQ. (Casey Rodgers/AP Images for SUBWAY)
In this photo taken by AP Images for SUBWAY Restaurants, former Alabama football star Tyrone Protho, right, and Jared Fogle, left, "the SUBWAY guy" present a $10,000 donation to Henry Lipsey of the West Alabama Food Bank at the SUBWAY restaurant in Tuscaloosa, AL, on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. The chain recently introduced a new BBQ Pulled Pork sub, and the funds will help feed victims of tornadoes in the region, one of the original homes of BBQ. (Gary Tramontina/ AP Images for SUBWAY Restaurants)
Jared "the SUBWAY guy" coach the National Little League Appreciation Game for the Challenger Division as they launch the national "Buddy Badge" program on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Joe Kohen/Invision for Subway/AP Images)
Jared "The SUBWAY Guy" Fogle makes sandwiches at a SUBWAY cafe at the Navy Exchange, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 in Bethesda, Md. (Photo by Nick Wass/Invision for SUBWAY/AP Images)
Denise Austin, left, and Jared "The SUBWAY Guy" Fogle, right, flex for the camera at the Navy Exchange, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 in Bethesda, Md. (Photo by Nick Wass/Invision for SUBWAY/AP Images)
Puerto Rico and Chicago White Sox outfielder Alex Rios teams up with Jared the SUBWAY Guy to surprise customers with free SUBWAY sandwiches prior to the World Baseball Classic final, on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 in San Francisco. (Photo by George Nikitin/Invision for Subway/AP Images)
In this May 28, 2014 photo, Subway restaurant spokesman Jared Fogle arrives at the world premiere of "Maleficent" at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles. FBI agents and Indiana State Police raided Fogle's Zionsville, Ind. home on Tuesday, July 7, 2015, removing electronics from the property and searching the house with a police dog. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Mel B, right, "America's Got Talent" judge and former Spice Girl, poses with Jared Fogle "The SUBWAY Guy"backstage at the "Project SUBWAY" fashion show during New York Fashion Week, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, as part of SUBWAY Restaurants' SUBtember celebration. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Subway Restaurants/AP Images)
A sandwich artist poses for a photo with Jared 'The Subway Guy' Fogle during SUBWAY March Madness, on Saturday, April 4, 2014 in Dallas. (Photo by Matt Strasen/Invision for SUBWAY/AP Images)
Former New England Patriots Running Back Kevin Faulk and Jared "€œThe SUBWAY Guy" take a selfie with a football fan at a SUBWAY pre-game tailgate featuring sandwiches the new premium cut, all white meat Grilled Chicken Strips, outside Gillette Stadium prior to the Conference Championship in Foxborough, MA on Sunday, January 18, 2015, prior to the Conference Championship game. (Photo by Marc Andrew Deley/Invision for SUBWAY Restaurants/AP Images)
Jared "€œThe SUBWAY Guy" Fogle, right, and a fan pose with #WhereSuperHeroesEat 3D street art in celebration of SUBWAY Restaurants€™ partnership with the upcoming Marvel movie "Avengers: Age of Ultron"€ on Monday, April 13, 2015 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for SUBWAY Restaurants/AP Images)
Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps NFL player Michael Crabtree, spokesman for Subway Jared Fogle and NBA player Blake Griffin arrive at the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for ESPY)
Jared 'The SUBWAY Guy' Fogle attends Go Red For Women The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on February 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
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His appeal was rejected in a ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"There is no evidence in the record that the district court was confused about the facts," the three-judge panel said in its ruling Thursday.

The panel rejected Fogle's claims that the district court's sentence was improper because it exceeded federal sentencing guidelines, saying that the judge had correctly applied the law and explained his reasoning.

It also rejected Fogle's assertion that because he had viewed the child pornography but not produced it, his sentence should have been more lenient.

Subway fired Fogle when reports emerged that he would plead guilty in the case. He has already begun to pay $1.4 million in restitution to 14 victims who are minors.

Prosecutors said Fogle obtained child pornography given to him by Russell Taylor, the former director of Fogle's charitable foundation, including videos he taped of minors without their permission, using hidden cameras in his homes in Indiana. The foundation involved educational programs about childhood obesity.

In his appeal, Fogle's attorney, Ronald Elberger, said the sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt was based on things his client did not actually do, including producing child pornography or acting on fantasies of having sex with minors.

But U.S. Attorney Steven DeBrota said the punishment was justified, because Fogle knew some of the minor victims by name and on a personal level.

The sentence was more severe than either side had wanted. The prosecution had sought 12-1/2 years in federal prison, while Fogle's attorneys had asked for five years. Fogle also was fined $175,000.

An attorney for Fogle did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

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