Jared Forgle: How People Get Arrested For Child Porn Crimes
In August, the former spokesperson for the Subway sandwich chain, Jared Fogle, was arrested on federal charges. Fogle was accused of paying money to engage in explicit sexual acts with children. He has also been charged with receiving child pornography and distributing pornographic materials with children. Fogle agreed to plead guilty to the criminal charges against him. As part of his sentence, he will pay $1.4 million in restitution to 14 different victims. The money is to provide counseling, support, and other assistance to the victims.
Fogle was arrested and charged after law enforcement determined that he used the web to solicit commercial sex, and that he had received videos and images featuring nude children. The videos were allegedly provided to Fogle by the former executive director of his childhood obesity charity. The FBI discovered Fogle’s alleged criminal acts through a tip provided by a concerned citizen. Local, state and federal agencies including the FBI joined together to conduct an investigation, which involved looking through thousands of photographs, emails, and text messages.
As Fogle’s high profile charges made the news, questions arose about how exactly law enforcement conducts investigations that result in a discovery that someone has been involved with child pornography.
How Do Defendants Get Caught With Child Pornography?
There are a number of different techniques used by law enforcement officers to catch people who are allegedly involved with child pornography crimes. For example:
- Law enforcement officers will search file sharing sites for common terms used in child
- When files are identified, the originating IP address can sometimes be traced.
- Law enforcement officers may pose as young children online, or may pose as people interested in buying or trading child pornography. When others approach them soliciting sexual acts or pornographic materials, those individuals may be arrested.
- Prosecutors may make deals with those caught with child pornography to turn in others who trade or sell the materials.
- “Honey pots,” or illegal images may be placed on the dark net by law enforcement so that investigators can see who downloads these illegal images.
These are just a few of many tactics used by police to try to find people involved with child pornography. If you are suspected of being in possession of pornographic materials involving children, law enforcement officers may conduct a search of your home and may take your computer. Deleting files does not protect you, because the FBI has computer experts who can recover information even when you have taken steps to hide the materials.
If law enforcement does find that you are in possession of child pornography, you face grave possible consequences. Federal sex crimes laws are serious. Fogle faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the child pornography charges brought against him, and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for the charges related to the sex acts. If you have been charged, you need to explore options for fighting charges.
Possibilities include arguing that you were not actually the person who possessed or obtained child pornography (it could have been put onto your computer because of a virus or in other files you downloaded); or having evidence of your possession of child pornography suppressed if an illegal search was conducted.
A Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can help you to fight state and federal charges and to explore all possible options for defending yourself or negotiating the most favorable possible plea deal. Call as soon as possible to learn more about how you can best respond to accusations of involvement with child pornography.