Former head of Jared Foundation seeks 15-year prison term

AP News
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Posted: Dec 04, 2015 3:58 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The former director of a foundation started by Subway spokesman Jared Fogle asked a federal judge Friday to sentence him to 15 years for providing homemade child pornography to his boss, saying Fogle was psychologically abusive and referred to himself as "daddy."

Russell Taylor, 44, who ran the Jared Foundation, and his attorneys have suggested a sentence range of 15 to nearly 23 years as part of a plea agreement, in which Taylor is scheduled to plead guilty Thursday to child exploitation and child pornography charges.

Prosecutors' sentencing recommendation, suggested Thursday, is 35 years in prison. They said Taylor "repeatedly engaged in criminal activity targeting children" and that his actions "greatly impacted the lives of 12 children and their families."

Taylor has admitted in court documents to using hidden cameras to produce child pornography, but said it started by accident when security cameras captured a sexual encounter in his home office. Taylor said in court documents he told Fogle about that first video, and Fogle encouraged him to put hidden cameras in other areas where "minors would be when either changing clothes or undressing to shower or bathe."

"Despite contentions made by Mr. Fogle, Mr. Fogle regularly requested additional videos of the minor children be made and even offered to provide Mr. Taylor with more sophisticated equipment to do so," the memorandum said.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt and other federal judges have wide discretion when sentencing. Pratt sentenced Fogle to 15 years and eight months in prison for trading in child pornography and having sex with underage prostitutes after prosecutors requested a 12½-year sentence.

Taylor contends Fogle was psychologically abusive to him, saying Fogle would him make do things such as eat doughnuts and pizza despite his gluten intolerance.

"Mr. Fogle maintained control over Mr. Taylor's job, owned the home Mr. Taylor was living in, and provided a lavish number of experiences ... all the while attempting to insulate himself from the risks of the conduct," the document said.

The court documents also say that Fogle "would refer to himself as Mr. Taylor's 'daddy' and there would be discussions of how much Mr. Taylor loved 'daddy' and reminding him that 'daddy' was paying for his things," the document said.

An 18-page psychological/psychosexual risk assessment submitted to the court said Taylor decided to seek counseling in 2012 after Fogle asked him "to get roofies" alleging Fogle wanted him to drug children to knock them out.

Fogle's attorney, Ron Elberger, said he had not seen the accusations included in the document and that he would have no comment.

The sentencing memorandum describes Taylor as having been sexually assaulted by a neighbor and the neighbor's son between the ages of 5 and 8 years old and diagnosed with a depressive disorder and an anxiety disorder.

The document describes Taylor as deeply remorseful. Taylor's attorneys said the sentence requested by prosecutors would be unfair because it would be "2.5 times harsher" than Fogle's sentence.