Child pornography case against Russell Taylor continues following Jared Fogle’s arrest
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 20, 2015)– When Jared Fogle walked out of the federal courthouse in downtown Indianapolis after telling a judge he wanted to plead guilty to child pornography and underage sex charges, he heard the insults and questions from reporters and onlookers.
Soon, his friend and former director of the Jared Foundation Russell Taylor may face a similar response.
It was an FBI raid on Taylor’s Avon home in April that uncovered evidence linking Fogle to shared pornography, some of it shot with hidden cameras by Taylor.
When investigators searched Fogle’s Zionsville home in July they came up with travel records and cell phone text messages that proved the former Subway spokesman used business trips to cover out-of-town sex encounters with underage prostitutes.
Fogle’s plea agreement signals his intention to go to federal prison for his crimes, but Taylor’s case is still in flux.
“Taylor’s charged, he’s detained in federal custody,” said Senior Litigation Counsel Steve DeBrota of the U.S. Attorneys Office. “He’s charged under what’s called a criminal complaint. That is a document that is used for a period of time and then we have to indict the case so he is in the period of time that he is held in custody on a complaint and the law allows us to do that to sort out what we would charge him with in that period of time.”
An August hearing for Taylor was delayed by mutual consent until early September.
A defense attorney not connected to the Taylor and Fogle cases said federal authorities may be trying to reach a plea agreement with Taylor or pump him for information related to other child pornographers.
“Mr. Taylor could be cooperating with the government. They could just still be trying to go through all this material,” said Joshua Moudy. “Certainly in a case like this the amount of evidence could be overwhelming.”
U.S. Attorney Josh Minker said investigators seized 16 smart phones, five basic cell phones, five MP3 players, five tablets, six laptops, one desktop, six loose hard drives, five cameras including hidden cameras, ten flash drives, ten memory cards, 46 CDs and 22 DVDs.
“The approximate amount of data reviewed by the Indiana State Police, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI includes 159,634 text messages, 27,140 emails, 47,623 images and 3394 videos.”
Most of those items seized came from Taylor’s house and Moudy said Taylor and his attorney may have already decided the case is no longer about guilt or innocence.
“A lot of times it doesn’t take a hard or long conversation,” said Moudy. “Its simply talking about the volume of material that the government has in their possession, but between the authorities and the client where the attorney acts as the intermediary, there could be a cooperation agreement discussed and that is asking the defendant where they’ve got their material, where they’ve got their pornography and from whom and how they received it so that the FBI can go further up the chain.”
Federal authorities have already charged a Colorado man whose case has been transferred to the Southern District of Indiana.
Moudy said Taylor may base a decision to take a plea agreement like Fogle’s on other factors.
“It would be the damage that it would do to your family, their reputation, children that perhaps you have, whether or not you actually want to be in court and be sentenced and, quite frankly, the media surrounding the case itself,” said Moudy.
Following Taylor’s arrest, Fogle wrote, “I was shocked to learn of the disturbing allegations against Mr. Taylor. Effective immediately, the Jared Foundation is severing all ties with Mr. Taylor.”