In 2015, former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle was sentenced to almost 16 years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography. And now Fogle has attempted to dispute his sentence, saying that the judge in his case was biased.
In a motion filed on February 6th in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Fogle wrote that Judge Tanya Walton Pratt should recuse herself from the case because she has two teenage daughters. He claimed that because his case involved a teenage sex worker and because he had illegally photographed teenage girls, the judge “demonstrated she is prejudicially biased.”
But according to the Indianapolis Star, Pratt only has one daughter, who was an adult at the time of Fogle’s sentencing, meaning that Fogle’s claims of judicial bias likely won’t hold up. Defense attorney Jack Crawford told the Star that, even if Fogle succeeds in having Pratt removed from the case, there won’t be any change to his sentence. Crawford explained that since Fogle was sentenced in a federal court, his fate now lies with the Federal Bureau of Prisons rather than any judge assigned to his case.
Fogle was charged with receiving child pornography and crossing state lines to have sex with 16- and 17-year-olds. As part of his settlement, he paid $100,000 to each of his 14 victims, and he was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in prison.
In 2016, Fogle appealed his sentence, claiming that the prison time he received was “unreasonable” because prosecutors had told him they wouldn’t seek more than 12 years and six months as part of his plea deal. When this appeal failed, he tried again in 2017, claiming that a federal court could not convict him. Pratt dismissed Fogle’s 2017 appeal as “frivolous” and having “no conceivable validity in American law.”
Even aside from the fact that Fogle’s claim about Pratt’s daughters is wrong, it’s ridiculous to claim that a woman would be biased in Fogle’s case because she has daughters. Pratt’s sentence was a result of Fogle’s crimes, not because she was “biased.” Too many sexual predators have been released after appealing their convictions. We need to hold predators accountable for sex crimes and make sure they are duly punished, no matter who they are.