Federal court issues decorum order for Fogle sentencing

November 17, 2015

The federal courtroom where former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle will be sentenced Thursday morning will be a cellphone-free zone, according to a decorum order issued in the case late Monday.

District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, is scheduled to sentence Fogle at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 344 of the Birch Bayh Federal Building and Courthouse. Fogle has pleaded guilty to child pornography and sex crimes charges. Prosecutors have asked he be sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison; Fogle has agreed to not request a sentence of less than five years.

“Cellular telephones and other devices that are brought into the main courtroom must be completely turned off, and not just silenced,” the order says. “Anyone found to have a cellular phone or other electronic device turned on while in the courtroom will be removed from the courtroom, may have their device(s) confiscated, may be detained by the United States Marshal Service, and may be subject to contempt of court.”

Southern District administrative specialist Doria Lynch said the order reinforces to the public and press federal rules prohibiting photos and recordings in court. But the Fogle case also required a decorum order beyond those typically issued in high-profile cases. “This is getting national media attention,” Lynch said.

Cellphones and electronic devices will be permitted in an overflow courtroom that will be set up in Courtroom 307, which will have a live audio/video feed of Fogle’s sentencing. “Members of the public and media will be permitted to have laptops, tablets, cellular phones, and other electronic devices in the overflow courtroom, and live reporting is allowed (i.e., email, blogging and tweeting),” the order says. Photos and recordings remain prohibited in the overflow courtroom, as is transmission or attempts to transmit real-time transcripts.

Violation of these rules may result in confiscation of electronic devices and is also subject to contempt of court, the order says.

While lawyers for Fogle and the government asked for sentences in line with Fogle’s plea agreement, Pratt has wide sentencing discretion. The child-porn charge against Fogle carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The charge of traveling to have sex with a minor carries a maximum 30-year term.




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