Understanding the Implications of the Jared Fogle Child Pornography Case
Former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle was recently sentenced to more than 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to a variety of crimes involving the sexual exploitation of minors. Fogle admitted to intentionally setting up paid sexual encounters with minors across state lines in New York hotels, a federal crime. He also admitted to possessing or distributing more than 400 videos of child pornography.
Because he was charged under federal law, he did not face rape charges, as there is no applicable federal crime of statutory rape. There is still the possibility he may face additional state charges for statutory rape of two 16-year-olds, but it is unlikely that New York prosecutors will pursue these charges because it would require an additional investigation, meaning the victims would have to go through the trial process again.
The child pornography charges against Fogle were based on his receipt and viewing of videos involving minors produced by his associate Russell Taylor. According to the Department of Justice, Fogle’s actions contributed to or caused the victimization of 12 minors in the state of Indiana. He also showed some of the videos to another person.
Mr. Fogle’s actions were admittedly intentional. He knew he was committing sex acts with minors and he knew that the materials he was viewing were child pornography. However, on the internet, things aren’t always so clear. Many people wonder what will happen to them if they accidentally view child pornography.
Prosecutors typically only pursue cases where there was an intent to view or download these materials. Even if you viewed or downloaded images or video due to a virus or a mislabeled link, you could still face charges, although you might have a defense. While New York statutes require that you knowingly access the materials with intent to view them, these cases can be complicated. In some cases, people have been convicted even after immediately deleting the files from their computer.
The laws concerning the viewing of illicit materials are constantly evolving. If you are being investigated on suspicion of possessing child pornography, you need the help of an attorney with experience defending this particular type of case. The Long Island criminal defense attorneys at Collins, McDonald & Gann, P.C. use every tool at their disposal to protect your freedom and your reputation. To schedule a free consultation, contact our Mineola office online or by calling 516-294-0300.