Indianapolis television station WRTV is reporting former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle will plead guilty to charges of owning child pornography. If the report is true, and he is indeed planning to enter a guilty plea, just how long would Fogle be in prison? It will be difficult to say until the specific charges are known, but according to television station RTV6 in Indianapolis, if he enters a guilty plea for possession of child pornography, Fogle could be looking at eight years in prison. (Update: On Wednesday morning, documents revealing that Fogle has agreed to plead guilty to possessing child pornography and committing sex acts with a minor were released. Fogle has agreed to spend at least five years in prison as part of his plea deal, but authorities are pushing for at least 11.)
The specific charges against Fogle remained unclear Tuesday night. Reuters reported that as of Tuesday afternoon, there was no case on file with the U.S. District Court of Southern Indiana which named Fogle as a defendant. However, if the case were sealed, it would not be readily available electronically.
Fogle, who gained celebrity status for losing more than 200 pound by eating Subway sandwiches, had his home raided by authorities in July as part of an investigation into Russell Taylor, former director of the Jared Foundation, which Fogle established to help fight childhood obesity. The allegations against Taylor are disturbing. Authorities found hundreds of videos of alleged child pornography in his home of several children between the ages of 9 and 16, WRTV reported. The videos allegedly were filmed in Taylor's home over a three-year period between 2012 and 2015. Taylor was charged with seven counts of production and one count of possession of child pornography. Taylor tried unsuccessfully to kill himself in jail, according to Fox59. After he learned of the charges against Taylor, Fogle said he was "shocked" and removed Taylor from his post at the Jared Foundation.
News of the forthcoming plea deal appears to have ended Fogle's relationship with Subway. When the investigation was first announced, the sandwich chain said it was "suspending" its relationship with Fogle. But a tweet from Subway on Tuesday indicates the two parties have severed ties. Subway issued a statement Tuesday confirming the nature of its relationship with Fogle: "We have already ended our relationship with Jared and have no further comment."
Fogle's attorney, Ron Elberger, declined to comment about the plea deal, saying any details or information could come from the U.S. Attorney's office. According to the Associated Press, Fogle will officially accept the plea deal on Wednesday. The U.S. Attorney’s office is expected to provide more details about the deal and the charges against Fogle on Wednesday afternoon.
While details about any charges against Fogle were vague Tuesday evening, one thing was clear: his image has been forever tarnished by the allegations. And for people who once looked to Fogle as an inspiration for their own weight loss, the fall from grace for the former healthy-eating icon has been stunning.