It's hard to have missed the recent media storm about the famous Subway promoter Jared Fogle and the FBI raid on his house. While no public charges have been levied against him, the backlash is undeniable. Subway has formally ended their relationship with him and removed all mentions of Fogle from their site. But what exactly is going on and why?
The Fogle debacle really began two months ago. The executive director of his outreach program, Russell Taylor, was arrested then and charged with breaking child pornography laws. He tried to commit suicide in jail, but survived and is now in the custody of U.S. Marshalls. The investigation began when a woman contacted the Indiana State Police and told them Taylor offered to send her pictures and videos with underage girls. When his home was searched, over 400 videos and numerous images of child pornography were found on several digital devices. Many appeared to have been made by Taylor himself, even in his home and bathroom. Two of those thumb drives also contained information about his work with the Jared Foundation and his employment there (he was the only paid employee at the time). This led to the Tuesday raid on Jared Fogle's home. Electronics and documents were removed from the home, but the police have not publically commented on their contents.
There's no charges against Fogle at this point. A Florida woman claims that she reported him to the police when he made "inappropriate comments" about middle-school aged girls. She also says that the FBI had her wear a wire and also recorded her phone conversations with Fogle. Fogle's attorneys denied those statements, calling it "an unrealistic fabrication" and the FBI has not commented on the issue.
Even if the raid found evidence, it's possible Fogle is still innocent of wrongdoing. Those documents may connect Fogle's foundation to discoveries made by the raid on Taylor's house. (The foundation was dissolved in February, 2012, because it did not pay state fees.) Fogle's attorneys have said that the raid did not find anything to connect Fogle with Taylor. The FBI and U.S. Marshalls have not said anything about the raid. Subway, however, dismissed him as a spokesman as soon as the raid became public. This is most likely not a comment on their belief in Jared Fogle's guilt or innocence, but a desire to avoid a PR debacle like many companies have experienced. Subway has also reported financial losses.
Taylor remains incarcerated. A trial date is not known at this time. It is also not known if Jared Fogle will testify.
[Photo via Wikipedia/IlliniGradResearch]