Feds: Fogle colleague pleads to exploiting 12 children

The former director of ex-Subway pitchman Jared Fogle’s anti-childhood obesity foundation sexually exploited 12 minor children in Indiana, federal authorities said Tuesday in releasing an information against Russell Taylor. Some of the children depicted in videos Taylor shared with Fogle were as young as 6, authorities said, ranging to age 14.

Taylor, 43, of Indianapolis, filed a plea agreement in federal court, acknowledging the 12 counts of sexual exploitation of a child detailed in the information and a count of distribution and receipt of child pornography.

The information said some of the children were related to Taylor. He and Fogle were close friends who were in contact daily and frequently traveled together on business trips, the information said.

Between March 2011 and January 2015, Taylor secretly recorded the 12 children’s sexually explicit conduct at his home, according to a statement issued by Josh Minkler, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. Taylor’s plea agreement allows the court to sentence him to no less than 15 years in prison and no more than 35. The advisory sentence will be not less than 30 years, according to the agreement.

Fogle, of Zionsville, has pleaded guilty to allegations that he paid for sex with a minor and received child pornography. He is scheduled to be sentenced November 19 by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, who has discretion under the plea deal to sentence Fogle to a term of no more than 12 ½ years in prison.

“Protecting those who cannot protect themselves will always be a priority of this office,” Minkler said in a statement. “Adults who sexually exploit children by producing child pornography knowingly cause vast harm to their victims and should expect appropriately strong punishment.”

Indiana State Police detectives received information that Taylor was in possession of illegal pornographic images and served a search warrant at his home on April 29, along with law enforcement officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI. They found a cache of sexually explicit photos and videos Taylor produced by secretly filming minor children at this home.

Executing a warrant, investigators found more than 400 videos of child pornography in computers, cell phones, and storage devices.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Taylor and Fogle discussed the fact that Taylor was secretly producing sexually explicit videos of minors. Fogle chose to benefit from such production by obtaining access to a significant amount of such material over the time period. Fogle did not produce any of this material himself.

None of the minors in the videos were aware that they were being filmed. Rather, Taylor produced the videos using multiple hidden cameras set up in his residences and oriented to show them nude, changing clothes, or engaged in other activities, the statement said.  

Taylor also obtained from the Internet and provided Fogle with child pornography produced by other people. The unidentified victims in these commercial images and videos were as young as approximately six years of age.

According to Senior Litigation Counsel Steven DeBrota, who is prosecuting this case for the government, Taylor admitted to all 13 charges.


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