In April, Russell Taylor, executive director of the Jared Foundation, a nonprofit formed to raise awareness and money to support childhood obesity programs, was arrested on charges of child exploitation and possession of child pornography. Jared Fogle, the Subway spokesman and founder of the charity, at the time denied any knowledge of Taylor's activities. "I was shocked to learn of the disturbing allegations against Mr. Taylor," Fogle said in a statement. "Effective immediately, the Jared Foundation is severing all ties with Mr. Taylor." Fogle, it seemed, was not connected.
When the FBI raided Fogle's home in July, a different story emerged. Authorities confiscated computers and other electronics, and while investigators would say little, Subway said the raid was likely related to Taylor's arrest. No charges were filed against Fogle, but the sandwich chain suspended ties anyway.
It was a wise move.
On Wednesday, Fogle pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and having sex with minors. "Between 2007 and this summer, prosecutors said, Fogle paid for and planned his business travel around repeated sexual encounters with underage girls," the Washington Post reported. "With his partner in the Jared Foundation, a childhood-obesity charity, Fogle also traded lurid pictures and videos of nude children as young as 6."
What's more, court documents obtained by the Indianapolis Star show that Fogle used the foundation to access minors, traveling with Taylor to foundation-hosted events in Indiana and other states, where the pair would meet and become close with children. "The Defendant knew of Taylor's relationship or association with some of the minors, including in some instances their actual names and where they lived," the documents state. "In some cases, the Defendant met the minors during social events in Indiana."
Fogle agreed to a plea deal that includes a minimum of five years in prison and will pay $100,000 to each of the 14 victims.