Jared Fogle rose to fame as the man who lost 245 pounds claiming he ate Subway sandwiches when he was a student at Indiana University. That was over 15 years ago. Today, Jared Fogle is better known for his criminal sex crimes involving underage minors. According to a story in the Washington Post, Fogle is accused of paying for sex with minors. Fogle solicited commercial sex online and traveled to various locations to have sex with minors beginning in 2007 through June 2015.
In addition to having sex with minors, Fogle allegedly received images and videos of nude children from Russell Taylor, the executor director of Fogle’s childhood obesity charity. As a co-conspirator of Taylor’s, Fogle was charged with possessing and distributing child pornography. According to U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler, Fogle was charged with and admitted to a “five-year criminal scheme to exploit children.”
As part of Fogle’s plea deal, federal prosecutors have requested a judge to sentence Fogle to a total of 12 years and 7 months in prison for all of the sex crime charges. Fogle could have faced up to 50 years for his crimes. In addition to his prison sentence, the prosecutors have requested that Fogle be placed on lifetime supervised probation and register as a sex offender in any state where he works and/or lives. In addition, Fogle must pay $1.4 million to 14 different victims as restitution for his crimes.
California’s Sex Crimes Laws
Solicitation of a Minor
In California, you can be charged with solicitation of a minor and convicted even if you do not have sex with the minor and the person you contact is not a minor. It is enough to convict you if you believed the person you contacted was a minor and you attempted to arrange to have sex with that person. If you solicit across state lines, you also face federal charges in addition to state charges.
Depending on the actual charge, you could face up to 30 years in prison for “illicit sexual activity” if you travel to another state to have sex with a minor. Sex trafficking has a minimum sentence of 10 years to life depending on the age of the child. You also face fines, probation, and registering as a sex offender.
Simply because you are charged with solicitation of a minor, you are not presumed guilty. Several potential defenses may be used to fight these charges depending on the circumstances in your case. A good faith belief of age, a false accusation, and entrapment are examples of potential criminal defense strategies that we may use to defend against a sex crimes charge.
Possession of Child Pornography
In California, it is a crime to possess, use, or distribute sexually explicit or obscene material of children under the age of 18. You can face both federal and state sex crime charges if you are caught with videos or pictures of nude children or children involved in sex acts. Sexting can also be considered child pornography. Many of the crimes are felonies; however, even a misdemeanor child pornography conviction carries severe penalties including mandatory registration as a sex offender.
Under State possession of child pornography laws, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you possessed obscene material; you knew the character and content of the material; and, you knew this material depicted a child under the age of 18 participating in or simulating sexual acts. The law defines “obscene” as describing or showing sexual conduct in an offensive way that a reasonable person would view as not having any literary, political, artistic, or scientific value and that an average adult applying acceptable standards would view as shameful or morbid.
There are several potential defenses to the charge of possession of child pornography; however, this can also be a difficult charge to defend. A criminal defense attorney with experience defending sex crimes is the best person to defend you against a charge of possession of child pornography. As with the charge of solicitation of a minor, several related criminal charges may be added to possession of child pornography that can greatly increase the prison sentence if you are convicted.
What Should I Do If I Am Charged with a Sex Crime in California?
Do not discuss the case with law enforcement officers or others and contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Invoke your right to remain silent except when asking for your attorney. Do not answer questions or try to tell “your side of the story.” Law enforcement officers are trying to gain information that can be used against you in court.
You need an experienced sex crimes attorney representing you as soon as possible. A conviction of a sex crime carries severe criminal penalties, with negative consequences that will affect the rest of your life. You may not be able to get the job that you want, live where you desire, or obtain a professional license.
Certainly, one of the worst parts of being charged with a sex crime is the dire consequences to your reputation. Even if the charges are later dismissed, your reputation will suffer from the mere suggestion that you are guilty of a sex crime with a minor. If you believe you are being investigated of a California sex crime, contact our office immediately so that we can begin to formulate a defense strategy to mitigate potential damage. Our criminal defense attorneys have the experience to effectively handle this type of case. We will listen to you and help you through this frightening experience.
Have You Been Charged with a Sex Crime in Riverside, CA?
Being charged with a sex crime does not mean you are guilty. In California, the government must prove its case before you can be found guilty, and before you can be sentenced. The attorneys at Greenberg & Greenberg, APLC are former district attorneys who understand what the state must prove in order for you to be convicted of a sex crime. Put their experience on your side to fight for your freedom, your reputation, and your well being.
Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Greenberg & Greenberg, APLC by calling (951) 274-0003 or visiting us online. Our consultations are private, confidential, and free. We can help you; we can make a difference – you should not face a criminal charge on your own.