The Columbus Dispatch

In ‘Jared,’ Fogle’s sinister side is detailed

- Erin Jensen USA TODAY

It’s been more than seven years since the feds raided Jared Fogle’s Zionsville, Indiana, home as part of an investigat­ion into child pornograph­y.

Once celebrated for his astonishin­g 245-pound weight loss, thanks to a diet of Subway’s low-fat sandwiches, authoritie­s uncovered the true Fogle, one that hundreds of commercial­s failed to capture: a perverse, power-drunk man who abused 14 minors.

Fogle’s undoing is the focus of Investigat­ion Discovery’s three-hour docuseries, “Jared from Subway: Catching a Monster” ( now streaming on Discovery+). Filmmakers interviewe­d Fogle’s former classmates, radio host-turnedinfo­rmant Rochelle Herman – who befriended Fogle to expose his attraction to minors – and two of Fogle’s victims, Christian Showalter and Hannah Parrett. Fogle declined to participat­e in the docuseries, according to filmmakers.

An informant for the FBI: Rochelle Herman

Herman first met Fogle in 2006 when she hosted him on her local Florida radio show. She was uncomforta­ble with Fogle’s flirty nature and disturbed when he told her that he found middle school girls hot. Herman, a mother of two, suspected Fogle of deviant behavior and thought if she befriended him and recorded their phone calls, she might obtain evidence she could take to the FBI.

During their chats, he told her he found minors attractive because “They just have such nice, pure bodies.” He said being with someone 9 or 10 would be “really hot.”

Herman took her tapes to the FBI, but the agents told her that because she had recorded Fogle without his knowledge, the tapes were inadmissib­le in court. So she became an informant for the FBI, keeping up her relationsh­ip with Fogle and handing over their taped chats to the agency.

This went on for about three years, and Herman became frustrated. The FBI attempted to lure Fogle to Sarasota, Florida, for a fake children’s birthday party to prove he was willing to cross state lines in order to have sex with a minor. Due to a last-minute change in Fogle’s schedule, he was unable to attend the party and the sting operation was foiled.

A tip about bestiality, the downfall of Russell Taylor

Indiana State Police Capt. Chuck Cohen received a tip that Russell Taylor, then the executive director of Fogle’s philanthro­pic organizati­on, sent images that depicted bestiality. Cohen explains in the documentar­y that possessing such images is not illegal, but performing sexual acts with animals is. So authoritie­s obtained a warrant and searched Taylor’s home in April 2015.

During their search, they discovered that Taylor had hidden cameras throughout the home and in the bedrooms of his stepdaught­ers, Showalter and Parrett. The cameras captured the girls during vulnerable moments, like when they were undressing, as well as their friends. Authoritie­s found more than 500 explicit images.

Through the investigat­ion into Taylor, authoritie­s discovered he had sent an image of a naked minor to Fogle. Fogle responded to the image, asking when he could have sex with the child, which triggered an investigat­ion.

Steven Debrota, an assistant U.S. attorney at the time, says in the docuseries that Taylor gave Fogle a thumb drive and a laptop with child porn. A search warrant was granted and authoritie­s raided Fogle’s home on July 7, 2015.

Fogle pleads guilty

Fogle allegedly spent $12,000 a year on sex workers, Debrota says in “Jared from Subway.” In text messages obtained during the investigat­ion of Fogle, he wrote to an undisclose­d recipient, “I’ll pay you big for a 14- or 15-year-old .. ’cause it’s what I crave!” He added: the “Younger the better LOL.”

Debrota says Fogle had sex with underage sex workers while staying at The Plaza and The Ritz-carlton hotels in New York.

In August 2015, Fogle pleaded guilty to possession or distributi­on of child pornograph­y and traveling across state lines to have commercial sex with a minor. He is serving a 15-year sentence at a Colorado prison.

Contributo­rs: Herald-times, Indystar and Associated Press

Parents in need of talk support can call the National Parent Helpline at 1855-427-2736 or the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-ACHILD. To report child abuse or neglect, contact law enforcemen­t or child protective services in your county.

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