Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle has admitted that he had sex with at least two minors and obtained child pornography of 12 other children as young as 6 years old, according to shocking federal court documents released today.
As part of a plea deal Fogle signed with prosecutors, Fogle, a married father-of-two, faces between 5 and 12½ years in prison and has agreed to pay $1.4 million restitution to his 14 victims. He also faces a fine of up to $500,000.
Wednesday’s announcement marked the first time authorities officially acknowledged that Fogle was the subject of a criminal investigation. It is a dramatic downfall for Fogle and his every-guy image. He has reportedly made millions as “the Subway guy” pitchman after he lost more than 200 pounds on a diet that revolved around Subway sandwiches. Subway suspended its contract with Fogle after federal agents raided his Indiana mansion last month. On Tuesday, the company told PEOPLE in a statement that, “We have already ended our relationship with Jared.”
Defense attorney Jeremy Margolis said: “Jared also knows that he has a medical problem. He has already sought evaluation by a world class psychiatrist, experienced in these matters and he wills seek appropriate treatment.” He added: “[Fogle] knows that restitution can’t undo the damage that he’s done.”
Fogle was arrested by the FBI then released on home detention with GPS monitoring. Having signed a plea deal notifying the court he will plead guilty, he will appear before a judge, but the date for that hearing has not been scheduled.
Also on Wednesday, Fogle’s wife Katie announced that she plans to seek a divorce. “Obviously, I am extremely shocked and disappointed by the recent developments involving Jared,” she said in a statement. “My focus is exclusively on the well-being of my children.” The plea agreement says Fogle would be allowed supervised visits with his kids if his wife agrees.
Federal court documents released on Wednesday revealed:
• Fogle agreed to plead guilty to one count of receiving and distributing child porn and one count of traveling across state lines for sex with minors.
• The alleged crimes began in 2007 and continued through June 2013, involving 14 underage victims.
• Fogle sent texts to prostitutes asking them “to provide him with access to minors as young as 14 to 15 years for purposes of commercial sex acts with him” but only after having sex with the escorts “to insure that they were not undercover police officers,” authorities say.
• Fogle flew to New York City and allegedly paid a 17-year-old girl cash for sex at the Plaza Hotel and the Ritz Carlton in late 2012 and early 2013.
• He allegedly sent the teen texts offering cash if he introduced him to other minors for sex. The texts allegedly said he would “accept a 16 year old,” but, “the younger the girl, the better.”
• Fogle got images of child porn from Russell Taylor, who ran Fogle’s charity for overweight kids, the Jared Foundation, according to prosecutors.
• Taylor allegedly obtained many of the images himself by secretly recording children while they were in his homes. He set up multiple hidden cameras, some stashed in clock radios, that were pointed at the children as they were changing clothes, showering, bathing or doing other activities, authorities say.
• Fogle knew some of the alleged victims by name and had even met some during social events in Indiana, investigators allege.
According to a press release from the United States Attorney for Southern Indiana, Fogle “engaged in commercial sexual acts” with at least two underage girls, one of whom was the 17-year-old at the Plaza Hotel and Ritz Carlton in November 2012 and January 2013. No age or details were given about the other girl.
The press release alleges that his child porn crimes began in March of 2011, when he learned that Taylor was sexually exploiting a 14-year-old girl. “At that time, Mr. Fogle did nothing to stop the abuse or report it to authorities, but chose instead to receive and repeatedly view the child pornography involving the girl and those other minors produced by his alleged co-conspirator in the years that followed,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges .
When asked if there might be other victims aside from the 14 accounted for in the charges, Prosecutor Steven DeBrota said at a press conference earlier today, “I’ll say this: In the time period we have a lot of evidence for, I doubt it, because we have a lot of evidence of what he’s doing and not doing in those periods of time.”
Fogle’s immediate family released a statement earlier today expressing concern for the victims: “Our family is shocked and profoundly disappointed in Jared’s abhorrent criminal behavior and we are very concerned for the well being of those affected by his conduct,” according to the statement. “At the same time, we are gratified that Jared is accepting responsibility for what he has done by agreeing to plea guilty to the charges filed today and by volunteering to make restitution to the victims. We are also gratified that he is seeking medical treatment. We hope that he will become healthy again and are confident that after he serves his sentence, he will continue to make amends. We look forward to the day that he rejoins our family and society.”