Silver Alert issued for missing 22-year-old woman from Beech Grove

Investigators hope child pornography case involving Jared Fogle will shed light on underage sex trafficking

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 20, 2015) - The child pornography case involving Former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle is getting national and international attention but law enforcement officials hope it will shed light on underage sex trafficking. Fogle turned to the Internet to find underage girls and offered to pay prostitutes a finder's fee to find him even younger girls.

"We are basically investigating people and finding out their dirty little secret," said Sgt. Jon Daggy with IMPD's VICE Unit.

Fogle looked to feed his desires online by visiting websites with advertisements for escorts or erotic services. Court documents show he found at least two underage victims who listed their services on the Internet.

Sgt. Daggy said at least once or twice a month, his department work on cases involving minors. He said traffickers typically use the internet to sell those minors for sex.

"That's where it's at now because people feel safe in cyber space," said Sgt. Daggy.

Documents state that after Fogle paid for sex with underage victim he asked her to find another minor. He allegedly told her, "The younger the girl, the better."

Investigators believe Fogle would engage in sex acts with prostitutes to make sure they were not undercover police officers. He then asked prostitutes in Virginia, Missouri and Las Vegas if they could provide him access to young girls who he could pay to have sex with. He also offered to pay them a finders fee if they followed through.

"I can tell you from working in it, it doesn't shock me one bit and I can tell you probably the sex crimes detectives who deal with this type of stuff all the time it doesn't shock them one bit," said Sgt. Daggy.

Fogle used his celebrity and wealth to travel the county, allegedly having sex with underage girls in high end hotels. Court documents list several sexual encounters, including a visit to the Plaza Hotel in New York City where he's accused of to pay for sex with a 17-year-old in November of 2012.  Investigators said he met up with her again in January 2013 and paid for sex at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York. He's also accused of paying for sex with that same victim on three separate occasions when she was only 16.

According to those documents, the victim said Fogle knew she was a minor. The victim said he asked her to find other underage girls. During a time period described between June 2011 and 2013, Fogle allegedly sent text messages to several escorts asking them to provide him with access to minors as young as 14 to 15 years of age.

"The men who are out buying these girls are coming from all walks of life, they're from all communities," said Megan Jessup, Chief Operating Officer of Ascent 121.

Jessup hopes this case will break misconceptions about sex trafficking and highlight the demand that exists in the underground market. Ascent 121 provides services to trafficking victims. Anyone can report suspected trafficking by calling The National Human Trafficking Resource Center at (888) 373-7888.