Russell Taylor, 44, the former head of Jared Fogle's charitable foundation, has agreed to plead guilty to 12 counts of producing child porn and one count of distributing it.(Photo: Indiana State Police)
INDIANAPOLIS — Lawyers for the former head of Jared Fogle's charitable foundation described his relationship with Fogle as "psychologically abusive," and Fogle would make Russell Taylor "call him Daddy," according to court filings Friday.
A detailed 18-page psychological assessment of Taylor, included in the filing, contained allegations that Fogle wanted Taylor to get him date rape drugs to use on "kids" and that Fogle would say to Taylor, "Daddy needs some pictures."
Fogle, the former Subway pitchman, was sentenced to almost 16 years in prison after admitting that Taylor provided him with child pornography, some of it recorded secretly in Taylor's home.
Taylor, 44, has agreed to plead guilty to 12 counts of producing child porn and one count of distributing it. He will be sentenced Thursday in federal court in Indianapolis, before the same judge who sentenced Fogle in November.
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"Despite contentions made by Mr. Fogle, Mr. Fogle regularly requested additional videos of the minor children be made and even offered to provide Mr. Taylor with more sophisticated equipment to do so," the court filing said.
"Mr. Fogle maintained control over Mr. Taylor's job, owned the home Mr. Taylor was living in, and provided a lavish number of experiences to Mr. Taylor. Mr. Fogle had the perfect person to carry out his sexually deviant pursuits, all the while attempting to insulate himself from the risks of the conduct."
A day after prosecutors asked for a 35-year prison sentence for Taylor, Taylor's lawyers asked for 15 to almost 23 years.
The prosecutor's sentencing memo, filed Thursday, said Taylor provided girls under the age of 16 with alcohol, illegal drugs and money "as part of an effort to seduce them." He engaged in sex acts with two of the girls when they were 14, the document claimed.
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Taylor also sent text messages to a boyfriend of another 14-year-old girl, urging him to encourage the girl to join "in sexual activity with Taylor and others," according to prosecutors.
“Mr. Fogle would refer to himself as Mr. Taylor's 'daddy' and there would be discussions of how much Taylor loved 'daddy' and reminding him that 'daddy' was paying for his things.”
Court filings submitted by Russell Taylor's attorneys
Taylor's lawyers painted a different picture. They said Taylor was an abused child and that his mother hit him "with objects including switches, shoes, or paneling, whatever was around." Asked if authorities ever got involved, Taylor said, "We lived in the country, nobody called CPS."
The court filing also challenged Fogle's version of his role in their crimes.
"Mr. Fogle maintained a controlling influence over Mr. Taylor," the court filing said. Fogle would remind Taylor "frequently that he controlled his employment and his home."
"Mr. Fogle would refer to himself as Mr. Taylor's 'daddy' and there would be discussions of how much Taylor loved 'daddy' and reminding him that 'daddy' was paying for his things," the court document said. "Mr. Fogle would even go as far as making Mr. Taylor eat things that were inconsistent with his gluten intolerance."
Taylor rejected Fogle's claim that he did not request the pornography, saying Fogle was "intimately tied" to its creation.
"It is inconceivable to think that a man who admittedly and regularly sought out sex with minors under the age of 16 did not request the commercial pornography or the home produced videos from Mr. Taylor," the filing said.
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Fogle pleaded guilty to traveling across state lines to have commercial sex with a minor.
Taylor admits that he deserves a harsher punishment than Fogle because he produced the videos. But, his lawyers argued, the prosecution's request of 35 years is too harsh. They said giving Taylor a sentence more than twice as long as Fogle's "is not warranted and would create an unreasonable disparity" because of Fogle's "direct involvement in this crime."
A sentence of 15 to almost 23 years, which Taylor wants, "would avoid a gross disparity between Mr. Taylor and others sentenced for the same type of offenses."
The court filing includes a detailed "Psychological/Psychosexual Risk Assessment, in which Taylor described being sexually abused as a child by neighbors. He attended several different schools in and around Mooresville, Ind.
Taylor wanted to go to college, "but my mom and pastor (his step-father, a Baptist preacher) had decided the rapture was going to happen in 1989 and that I was better off studying the bible."
Ex-Jared Foundation leader agrees to plead guilty in child porn case
Taylor was in the Air Force briefly and was honorably discharged, according to the report. He met Fogle while serving as youth market director for the American Heart Association and Fogle was scheduled to speak at elementary schools in the area. Taylor wrote a speech for Fogle that "went over well" and they began to develop a closer relationship.
They traveled to a Colts-Patriots game at New England and met the announcers. Afterward, they went to a strip club and brought a stripper back to their hotel for sex.
"That began our 12-year run," the report quoted Taylor as saying.
Fogle hired Taylor in 2009 to run his foundation. Fogle made jokes and comments about sex with children. They went to Thailand, Korea, Japan and other countries "and I'd never seen him have sex with a minor."
When Fogle found out about hidden cameras at Taylor's home — to prevent stealing, the report said — the Subway pitchman "encouraged Mr. Taylor to keep filming in the house, and eventually to move the cameras in the bathrooms and private areas, in hopes of catching the children naked."
Follow Mark Alesia on Twitter: @markalesia; Follow Tim Evans on Twitter: @startwatchtim
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