INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Subway pitchman and convicted child predator Jared Fogle is continuing his quest to be released from prison early – most recently by asking a federal judge allow him to withdraw his guilty plea.
Fogle pleaded guilty in 2015 to federal charges of conspiracy to distribute/receive child pornography and of traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. He also agreed, as part of his plea, to pay $100,000 each to fourteen unnamed juvenile victims as restitution.
Judge Tanya Walton-Pratt sentenced Fogle to serve more than 15 years in prison on the charges. Fogle has been serving that sentence at the federal penitentiary in Englewood, Colorado.
Since his sentencing, however, Fogle has filed dozens of motions seeking to have his sentence either reduced or thrown out altogether.
Last month, Fogle, who is now representing himself in the case, argued that Pratt “has bias” against him because she was the mother of two teenage daughters at the time of his sentencing. That claim was easily disproven, though: Pratt has only one daughter, and said daughter was 24 at the time Fogle pleaded guilty.
Fogle’s most consistent claim – which he has repeated in multiple filings and is now pursuing in two separate cases (Fogle v. Walton-Pratt et al and Fogle v. USA) – is that he was wrongfully allowed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge in the case. Fogle contends that no such charge exists under federal law.
Fogle’s claim appears to stem from a reading of the statute under which he was sentenced – 18 U.S. Code § 2252(a)(2) – that overlooks or ignores a latter passage that states, “Whoever violates, or attempts or conspires to violate, paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (a) shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years…”
Fogle, as noted in the plea agreement he signed, is accused of conspiring to violate paragraph (2) of subsection (a).
In a filing to the court on March 5, Fogle excerpts section (a) of the statute, while omitting section (b) entirely.
In another filing under his “conspiracy” argument, Fogle included portions of letters between former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and former Republican U.S. Rep. Karl M. Le Compte dated 1946 – along with a portion of the Communist Control Act of 1954.
Fogle also included portions of a transcript from the 2016 United States v. Frank Edwin Pate case in which he appears to have underlined sections containing language about “aiding and abetting.” Pate – who is incarcerated at the same prison as Fogle on a 2015 conviction for wire and mail fraud – was ultimately unsuccessful in that case.
Although Fogle asks the court to “take judicial notice” of the facts presented in his filing, he does not make clear what, if anything, he believes the information presented within has to do with his case – nor is it immediately apparent.
A previous attempt by Fogle to appeal his sentence in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago was rejected by the court, which dismissed Fogle’s arguments in June 2016 as “unpersuasive.”
In addition to Judge Pratt, Fogle’s request on Monday for immediate release and a hearing on the constitutionality of the charges he pleaded guilty to was also addressed to the warden of the Englewood Federal Correctional Institute and to President Donald Trump. It was not made clear in the filing what, if anything, he hoped President Trump could do for him.