Losing 245 pounds on a Subway diet may have turned Jared Fogle into a "mild" pedophile, but he "denies he ever touched a child," according to a psychiatrist hired by Fogle's lawyer to testify in his child sex sentencing hearing.
Fogle, 38, was sentenced to 15 years in a federal prison Thursday after pleading guilty to child porn and underage sex charges. He's also paid $100,000 to each of 14 teens who were secretly photographed nude by an employee of Fogel's child obesity charity.
Federal prosecutors had asked for 12 and a half years under a plea deal in which Fogle agreed not to argue for less than five. The judge could have sentenced him up to 50 years.
"Not a day will go by when I don't think about what I did to them," Fogle told the judge during his sentencing hearing. He appeared to cry and his voice broke as he read from a prepared statement.
"For most of my adult life, I've been in the spotlight, trying to be a role model," Fogle said. "I became dependent on alcohol, pornography and prostitutes."
Forensic psychiatrist John Bradford, who was paid by the defense to evaluate Fogel and to testify, said that he found him to have "mild or infrequent fantasies about pre-pubertal children," and his diagnosis is "mild pedophilia."
"He was mostly attracted to females who were teenagers, who were 14 to 17 years of age," Bradford told the court. "His attraction was at the high end of that range."
While the doctor concluded Fogle was a pedohile, "it didn't involve acting out with a child. He denies he ever touched a child."
He blamed, in part, the weight loss that made Fogle famous nearly two decades ago and got him a job as Subway's spokesman. "Once he lost weight, it seemed as though in a short time he had hyper-sexuality," Bradford testified. "There are brain disorders that can be associated with sexual drive."
Another psychologist hired by the defense testified that during his 100 hours of therapy with Fogle he found him to be "ashamed and remorseful" for the harm he did to children and that he admitted his behavior "from the first day."
But prosecutors made sure the judge new details of Fogle's search for children to engage in sex.
A detective read text messages Fogle sent to prostitutes, including one in Las Vegas: "I'll pay you big for a 14- or 15-year-old." He offered to pay a $400 finder's fee and at least $300 for sex if the teen was good looking.
Prosecutor Steven DeBrota told the judge there was more to Fogle's story than what Bradford found in his short time with the defendant.
The shocking case against Fogle includes secret recordings made by a former journalist in which Fogle talks about his sexual interest in children. He is heard asking Rochelle Herman-Walrond if he could watch her own young children in their bedroom.
"Are there any of your kids' friends that you think are pretty hot? What if we put a camera in your kids' room, would they be OK with that?" he said.
DeBrota called for U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt to send "a sobering message" to other sex offenders by not showing leniency to Fogle.
Written statements from three of Fogle's victims were submitted but kept under court seal.