INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A judge is set to sentence the former head of Jared Fogle’s charity to prison on child pornography charges.
Russell Taylor has agreed to plead guilty to 13 federal crimes. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday.
Taylor faces 12 counts of child exploitation and one count of distributing child pornography. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Taylor could face 15 to 35 years behind bars. The prosecution is asking for 35 years. Taylor’s attorneys are asking for a sentence of 15 to nearly 23 years. But it ultimately is up to the judge. This judge gave Fogle more time than the prosecution had asked for. Court documents show the maximum sentence for Taylor’s crimes would be 380 years.
Investigators raided Taylor’s home back in April, after receiving a tip. Prosecutors accuse Taylor of secretly producing child pornography by setting up hidden cameras in his home, where he could catch minors undressing. In court documents, prosecutors say the victims ranged from 9 to 16 years old. Prosecutors said one of the victims knew they were being recorded.
Prosecutors then accuse Taylor of providing Fogle with child pornography. Taylor’s attorneys are asking for a lesser sentence because of Fogle’s involvement in the case. In court documents, the defense says the “public ridicule” that Taylor has gone through, because of Fogle’s celebrity status, along with 15 years in prison, is enough to keep him from committing crimes again.
Taylor’s defense team also argues he his mentally ill and suffered a traumatic childhood. In court documents, they say he had an abusive relationship with Fogle. Taylor’s attorneys said Fogle could manipulate Taylor because he had control of his home and job. Court documents say Fogle “had the perfect person to carry out his sexually deviant pursuits.”