Over the past several weeks, ten young women have answered a knock at their door to find someone at the doorstep holding a $100,000 check. The check is meant to cover anything they may need, from mental health counseling to medical care, to help them recuperate from the trauma of being sexually abused by former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle.
The money is supposed to help them “go on with their lives and put them where they should have been had none of this happened,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven DeBrota told the Associated Press.
What happened was they met Jared Fogle, who now stands accused of heinous crimes and faces at least five years, and maybe over 12, in a federal prison as a result.
As of last Thursday, three adult victims and seven minors have received their checks ahead of Jared’s sentencing on Nov. 25. That his victims are seeing their compensation well before that date is unusual.
In 25 years prosecuting child porn cases, DeBrota said he’s seen restitution paid to victims before sentencing only one other time, the New York Times added. Also unique, Jared Fogle’s plea agreement required him to secure $1.4 million in a trust account — or “impounded,” as DeBrota put it — for this purpose to make sure Jared couldn’t spend it.
The remaining four of Fogle’s victims, for a total of 14, will receive their restitution checks before Jared learns just how long he’ll remain behind bars, prosecutors assured.
The four remaining victims are now adults. One of them is now homeless, though whether that circumstance is connected to her abuse at Fogle’s hands wasn’t made clear.
Since the start of the fall, the checks from Fogle have been hand-delivered to the 10 victims or their parents; each had to sign a form confirming they received it and that it’s intended for their benefit.
But Jared recognized in August, through his attorney Jerry Margolis, that no amount of money can erase the past, “Jared fully recognizes that such monetary contribution will not undo the harm he has caused.” He hoped, however, that it will help them “as they try to move forward with their lives.”
Fogle’s future, at least the next five years of it, will be passed inside a federal prison cell. As part of the plea agreement that required him to set aside $1.4 million, Jared pleaded guilty to charges of having sex acts with minors and distribution of child pornography.
Jared stands accused of traveling across state lines to have sex with minors, using websites to arrange sex acts with at least two minors, and paying two girls under 18 (one of them 16 at the time) for sex in New York City hotels.
For 16 years, the world knew Jared Fogle as the formerly obese young man who lost 200 pounds by eating Subway sandwiches and exercising. He starred in nearly every commercial for the chain afterward, starting in 2000, and then founded a charity — the Jared Foundation — four years later to combat childhood obesity.
But the beginning of the end came for Fogle when a child pornography investigation into the former executive director of that foundation, Russell C. Taylor, led to a mention of Jared’s name. Police found Taylor with 400 videos of child porn in his home office and he was charged in May with seven counts of production and one count of possession of child pornography.
Authorities discovered Fogle was aware of this elicit activity and knew about a particularly disturbing incident in which Taylor filmed 12 minors secretly in his home. By July, police raided Jared’s house in Indianapolis. By August, Fogle pleaded guilty to the charges.
With the ink on his plea deal still wet, Fogle’s wife, Katie, dropped him as well, filing for divorce, the New York Daily News added.
[Photo By Joey Foley / Getty Images]