Yesterday, we found out that Jared Fogle, the former Subway spokesman and reputed college porn kingpin, was expected to plead guilty on child pornography charges, and today we know what those charges are.
Documents released by the feds on Wednesday claim that the 37-year-old both possessed and shared child pornography—some depicting kids young enough to be in kindergarten—and traveled to pay for sex with underage girls, including encounters with teenagers in New York City hotels like the Plaza and Ritz Carlton.
Law enforcement officials held a press conference in Indianapolis shortly after noon today to announce the plea deal, which will be formally inked at a later date. Fogle was mobbed by a horde of media members and jeered as he left the federal courthouse.
In what she says will be her only public statement, Fogle's wife announced via her lawyer that she is currently seeking a divorce, the Associated Press reports.
The scandal began to intensify last month, when law enforcement raided Fogle's home in Zionsville, a well-off suburb of Indianapolis. Immediately, speculation ensued that the search was related to Russell Taylor, former head of Fogle's charitable foundation for kids, who was charged in May with producing more than 500 child porn images, at least some of which featured relatives staying in his homes. After the sandwich chain cut ties with Fogle in response, acquaintances began publicly sharing anecdotes about the former spokesman calling middle-school girls "hot," among other disturbing allegations.
The feds allege that Fogle possessed images that Taylor, the former head of the Jared Foundation, produced in his home, which featured a dozen partially or completely nude minors—some of which they knew to be as young as 13 or 14—doing things like getting out of the bathtub and engaging in sex acts. "If the defendant had promptly reported to law enforcement what he knew of these activities, the sexually explicit material involving later victims would not have been produced," according to the document. Taylor also allegedly hooked Fogle up with videos he did not produce himself depicting even younger children—some about six years old.
The government further alleges that Fogle traveled to pay for sex with women between 2007 and this spring, including underage women between 2010 and 2013. According to the document, one was a 17-year-old he met at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, whom Fogle offered a fee if she would refer him to a 16-year-old friend, or "the younger the better." The girl sent him explicit shots of herself, and they later had sex again at the Ritz Carlton, again in exchange for money. (Fogle also did eventually have sex with the younger friend, according to the 17-year-old.)
The government alleges Fogle distributed and received child pornography, conspired to distribute and receive it, and traveled and attempted to travel to engage in commercial sex with children.
"Jared is accepting responsibility for what he has done. He is also volunteering to make restitution to those affected by his deplorable behavior," said Fogle's attorney in a statement. "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."
According to his petition to plead guilty—which the prosecution accepted Wednesday—Fogle faces between 60 to 240 months in prison for possessing and sharing the child porn, and up to 360 months for having sex with the girls. But the sentence is likely to be a good bit longer than the minimum.
"It isn't going to be five years," US Attorney Josh Minkler told reporters, later adding, in response to a question about whether Fogle might flee, "I don't think he's going anywhere... I don't think Jared can flee very far without being recognized."
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