By Fiona Ortiz
(Reuters) - The ex-director of the foundation started by former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle appeared in U.S. District Court in Indiana on Friday ahead of his agreement to plead guilty to child sexual exploitation and child pornography charges.
Russell Taylor, who was executive director of the Jared Foundation, was informed of his rights by Federal Judge Debra McVicker Lynch and will remain in custody, his lawyer Brad Banks said. The foundation, now defunct, focused on child obesity prevention.
Taylor, 44, agreed on Sept. 1 to plead guilty to a dozen counts of child sexual exploitation and one count of distributing and receiving child pornography. He is scheduled to enter a guilty plea and be sentenced on Dec. 10.
Fogle, who became famous after losing 245 pounds on a diet
based on Subway sandwiches, has also petitioned a federal judge to accept his guilty plea to charges of child pornography and traveling for illicit paid sex with minors.
Subway said on Friday it had completed its investigation into the Fogle case, after reviewing one million comments submitted over the years to customer relations.
The investigation pulled up one complaint from 2011 that expressed "serious" concerns about Fogle, but did not refer to criminal activity, the company said.
Subway fired Fogle when reports of the plea agreement emerged.
Prosecutors said Taylor used hidden cameras in his homes from March 2011 to April 2015 to produce visual images and videos of minors under age 18 without their knowledge. The minors were nude, changing clothes or engaging in other conduct, according to the filing. He will plead guilty to sexual exploitation of minor children as young as 6.
Investigators found pornography on computer equipment,
storage devices, cameras and other media in a search of Taylor's
Indianapolis residence, according to previous court filings.
Taylor discussed the images and videos with Fogle and he
shared some of the material with him, the filings said.
Under Taylor's plea agreement, prosecutors will not ask for a sentence greater than 35 years, while he will not seek less than a 15-year sentence. The final sentencing decision is up to the judge.
(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago; Editing by Mohammad Zargham & Kim Coghill)