INDIANAPOLIS — Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison Thursday for trading in child pornography and having sex with underage prostitutes, with the judge describing his “perversion and lawlessness” as “extreme.”

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt disregarded prosecutors’ recommendation that Fogle get 12½ years behind bars, opting for a stiffer term of 15 years and eight months in prison. She could have sentenced him to up to 50 years.

In explaining her sentence, the federal judge noted how fortunate Fogle was to land his lucrative deal to be the face of Subway after he lost more than 200 pounds in college, partly by eating the chain’s sandwiches.

“What a gift, to have such a professional windfall fall in your lap,” she said. But Pratt said Fogle blew the chance he’d been given by living a double life and pointed out that the crimes he committed weren’t victimless.

“The level of perversion and lawlessness exhibited by Mr. Fogle is extreme,” said Pratt, who also ordered Fogle to submit to a lifetime of post-prison supervision and pay a $175,000 fine. She recommended that Fogle receive sex offender treatment in prison and said she’ll recommend he serve his time at a federal lockup in Littleton, Colorado, that specializes in such treatment.

Fogle didn’t show any visible reaction when he heard his sentence, but family members who were in the courtroom began crying and hugging each other after the judge ordered Fogle taken into custody.

Before he was sentenced, the 38-year-old father of two addressed the court, apologizing to his victims and his family. “I so regret that I let so many of you down,” he told the court. “I want to redeem my life. I want to become a good, decent person. I want to rebuild my life.”

Fogle pleaded guilty to one count each of traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and distribution and receipt of child pornography, as per a deal he struck with prosecutors in August, a month after his suburban Indianapolis home was raided.

Fogle’s lawyers called John Bradford, a professor of forensic psychiatry at the University of Ottawa in Canada, to testify at Thursday’s hearing.

Speaking by phone, Bradford said he analyzed Fogle on Aug. 17 and concluded that Fogle suffers from hypersexuality, mild pedophilia, and alcohol abuse and dependency.

He said he took Fogle’s sexual history, including his sexual interests and tested him to determine what images caused Fogle to be sexually aroused. He said Fogle also told him that he had “a fairly extensive history” of using prostitutes for sex. Under cross-examination, Bradford said Fogle admitted to paying a minimum of about $12,000 a year for sex.

Bradford said Fogle told him he had engaged in sex with minors of 16 and 17 years of age, referring to two teenage prostitutes Fogle admitted paying for sex, and said that he had a sexual interest in teenagers.

“He started viewing pornography in college and had a fairly extensive collection of pornography in college,” Bradford said.

Bradford said Fogle apparently had a compulsive eating disorder before he lost all of the weight that led to him becoming the face of Subway, and that his hypersexuality seemed to develop shortly after he shed the extra pounds.

Fogle agreed to pay a total of $1.4 million to his 14 victims, with each getting $100,000.