Jared Fogle to plead guilty to sex acts with 14 minors, child porn

INDIANAPOLIS (WLS) -- Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle told a judge Wednesday he understood the agreement in which he will plead guilty to paying for sex acts with minors and receiving child pornography.

READ: Jared Fogle information document
READ: Jared Fogle petition to enter plea of guilty and plea agreement


Wearing a dark suit, white shirt and blue tie with his dark-rimmed glasses, Fogle briefly appeared in a federal court in Indianapolis on Wednesday for the filing of the plea agreement. Fogle sat with his hands clasped and quietly answered "no" when the judge asked whether he had any questions about his rights. He confirmed he received the charging documents and said he understood the charges against him. He is expected to enter his plea of guilty at a later date.

The 37-year-old married father of two was released with an electronic monitor. He made no comment as he left the courthouse.

"He will fully and completely acknowledge his responsibility for his wrongdoing, and his acts, and his conduct," Fogle's attorney, Jeremy Margolis, said.

"Fame and fortune will not protect you from attacking those most vulnerable in our communities. This is an absolute testament to that commitment. No matter what color shirt we wear or who we are or where we're from, we will find out who you are," Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter said.

In a statement, Fogle's family said they were "shocked and profoundly disappointed in Jared's abhorrent criminal behavior."

His wife, Katie Fogle, released a statement through her lawyer, "Obviously, I am extremely shocked and disappointed by the recent developments involving Jared. I am in the process of seeking a dissolution of the marriage. My focus is exclusively on the well-being of my children. Neither I nor my family will have any further comment on the matter. I appreciate respect for my family's privacy during this difficult time."

FOGLE TO PAY $1.4M TO 14 VICTIMS

In the agreement, which was filed ahead of Wednesday's court appearance, Fogle agrees to pay $1.4 million in restitution to 14 minor victims, who will each receive $100,000.

U.S. Attorney Steven D. DeBrota said by paying the victims restitution, they'll have a chance to "put their lives together."

"[Jared] is also volunteering to make restitution to those affected by his deplorable behavior. While Jared fully recognizes that such monetary contribution will not undo the harm he has caused, he is hopeful it will assist these individuals as they try to move forward with their lives," Margolis said in the statement.

Fogle will also be required to register as a sex offender and undergo treatment for sexual disorders.

"Jared also understands that he requires significant psychiatric medical treatment and counseling. He has already begun that process by being extensively examined by a world-renowned expert in sexual conditions in order to chart a course to recovery. It is Jared's intent and goal to become healthy again," Margolis said in the statement.

According to the documents, in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and one count of distribution and receipt of child pornography, Fogle will spend between 5 and 12 1/2 years in prison. The agreement outlines that Fogle can ask for no less than 5 years and the government can ask for no more than 12 1/2 years in the sentencing.

Federal judges have wide discretion in sentencing. The child porn charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The count involving sex with a minor is punishable by up to 30 years.

'THE YOUNGER THE GIRL, THE BETTER'

Fogle used "wealth, status and secrecy" to exploit children, U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said. During the investigation, detectives reviewed tens of thousands of text messages and emails.

Federal prosecutors allege in the documents that Fogle traveled to pay for sex acts, including with minors, from 2007 until as recently as June and that he repeatedly planned business trips to coincide with his sexual pursuits.

On Nov. 3, 2012, Fogle allegedly paid a 17-year-old girl who he had found online to engage in sex acts while he was staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, according to the papers. Several months later, he again paid her for sex acts while staying at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, according to the document, which says the girl told Fogle her age when they first met and that he knew she was a minor.

After the first meeting, the document said, Fogle texted the girl and offered to pay her a fee if she could find him another underage girl to pay for sex acts.

During these discussions, Fogle "stated that he would accept a 16-year-old girl, while stating that the younger the girl, the better," the document said.

Between 2011 and 2013, Fogle also repeatedly sent text messages to other escorts, "soliciting them to provide him with access to minors as young as 14 to 15 years," the document said, adding that he would only make such requests after engaging in sex acts with the escorts to "insure that they were not undercover police officers."

The document also alleged that Fogle on multiple occasions received sexually explicit images and videos produced by Russell Taylor, 43, who ran the charitable Jared Foundation. The foundation sought to raise awareness about childhood obesity and arranged for Fogle to visit schools and urge children to adopt healthy eating and exercise habits.

Two months before Fogle's home was raided, authorities arrested Taylor on seven counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Investigators said they discovered a cache of sexually explicit photos and videos Taylor allegedly produced by secretly filming minor children at his home.

After those charges were filed, Fogle issued a statement saying he was shocked by the allegations and was severing all ties with Taylor.

Prosecutors also allege that Fogle received from Taylor multiple images and videos, some of which were taken by a video camera hidden in a clock radio that filmed children changing clothes or bathing. Some were taken in buildings were Taylor lived.

The document says Fogle knew those depicted were minors, some as young as 13 or 14 years old, and in some cases knew the minors involved by name and had met them "during social events in Indiana."

In other cases, the document said, Taylor allegedly obtained sexually explicit images taken by others outside the U.S., including videos of children around age 6, and shared them with Fogle.

Taylor's attorney, Brad Banks, has said his client was briefly hospitalized after the allegations against him first surfaced. Sheriff's officials have said Taylor tried to take his own life in jail.

Banks said Tuesday that his client remains in federal custody and that prosecutors have until Sept. 3 to issue a grand jury indictment.

SUBWAY PARTNERSHIP ENDS

Fogle, 37, became Subway's pitchman after shedding more than 200 pounds as a college student, in part by eating the chain's sandwiches. He was the public face of the company for more than 15 years - a period in which its number of locations tripled, making Subway the world's largest restaurant chain.

Subway suspended the partnership in July after agents raided his home in the affluent Indianapolis suburb of Zionsville, and the chain said this week that it had ended its relationship with Fogle.



After learning of the documents Wednesday, Subway called Fogle's actions "inexcusable."

Fogle's history with Subway reaches back to his days at Indiana University. The college paper published a story on his weight loss that was then picked up by national media.

Soon after, Subway's advertising agency reached out to Fogle and asked if he wanted to be in a TV commercial. The ensuing ad campaign resonated in part because Fogle seemed like such a regular guy, which made weight loss seem simple and achievable.

In 2013, Subway celebrated the 15-year anniversary of Fogle's famous diet by featuring him in a Super Bowl ad and making him available to news organizations for interviews. At the time, Fogle said he still traveled regularly on behalf of Subway. He also said he had a Subway "black card" that let him eat at the chain for free.

The company, based in Milford, Connecticut, has declined to provide details on its financial arrangements with Fogle.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.
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