Former Subway pitchman pleads guilty to child porn, sex charges

By Susan Guyett
Reuters

INDIANAPOLIS – Former Subway sandwich chain pitchman Jared Fogle pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to charges of child pornography and traveling for illicit paid sex with minors.

Federal Judge Mark Dinsmore must now review a plea deal Fogle’s attorneys reached with prosecutors and decide whether to accept it. Fogle was released and must wear an electronic monitoring device pending his next court appearance.

Under the deal, Fogle would serve between five and 12 years in prison, pay $1.4 million in restitution to 14 minor victims, register as a sex offender and meet other conditions.

Subway fired Fogle on Tuesday when reports of the plea agreement emerged. Fogle’s lawyers said they would make a statement outside the courthouse after he entered his plea. Prosecutors were scheduled to hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m.

Local media reported that Fogle’s wife had released a statement saying she was seeking a dissolution of their marriage. Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the report.

Authorities searched Fogle’s home in the Zionsville suburb northwest of Indianapolis in July, two months after the executive director of his foundation, set up to combat childhood obesity, was arrested on federal child pornography charges.

According to the indictment, the head of the Jared Foundation, Russell Taylor, secretly taped 12 minors while they were changing clothes, showering and bathing at his home, including two who were as young as 13 or 14 years old. He shared the images with Fogle, who knew they showed minors, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Fogle also received commercial child pornography from Taylor and viewed it and failed to report it.

Fogle traveled to New York City at least twice between 2010 and 2013 seeking sex with minors, and paid for sex acts twice with a girl he knew to be 17 years old. He told the girl he would “make it worth her while” if she could find him another minor to have sex with, “the younger the girl, the better,” according to the indictment.

Prosecutors said he repeatedly asked prostitutes and others to find him 14- and 15-year-olds for sex.

Fogle became a Subway spokesman after losing a reported 245 pounds in part by eating regularly at the sandwich chain. He made his first Subway commercial in 2000, and appeared in a new one last year, according to Subway.

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