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Thursday, December 8, 2016

By Susan Guyett

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – Former Subway sandwich chain pitchman Jared Fogle will plead guilty on Wednesday to charges of child pornography and paying for sex with minors, according to a plea agreement and indictment released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis.

Prosecutors and the defense have agreed that Fogle will be sentenced to between five and 12 years in prison in exchange for the guilty plea, but a judge would have to approve that deal, according to the court filing.

Subway fired Fogle on Tuesday when reports of the plea deal emerged. Ron Elberger, Fogle’s attorney, said he had no immediate comment.

FBI special agents photographed and fingerprinted Fogle at the FBI field office in Indianapolis on Wednesday and transported him to the federal courthouse where he will make his initial appearance at 11 a.m. EDT, FBI spokeswoman Wendy Osborne said.

Prosecutors will hold a news conference at 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Authorities searched Fogle’s Indiana home in July, two months after the executive director of his foundation, set up to combat childhood obesity, was arrested on federal child pornography charges.

According to the indictment, the head of the Jared Foundation, Russell Taylor, secretly taped 12 minors while they were changing clothes, showering and bathing at his home, including two who were as young as 13 or 14 years old. He shared the images with Fogle, who knew they showed minors, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Fogle also received commercial child pornography from Taylor and viewed it and failed to report it.

Fogle traveled twice to New York City between 2010 and 2013 and paid for sex with two girls who were 17 years old at the time, according to the indictment. He knew they were minors, according to the charges.

Prosecutors said he repeatedly sought sex with minors when he contacted escort services, or in contacts with other women.

Under the plea agreement, Fogle would have to register as a sex offender, receive treatment for sexual disorders, and pay $100,000 each to the 14 minor victims.

Fogle became a Subway spokesman after losing a reported 245 pounds in part by eating regularly at the sandwich chain. He made his first Subway commercial in 2000, and appeared in a new one last year, according to Subway.

When authorities searched his home in the Zionsville suburb northwest of Indianapolis last month, they removed bags, boxes and briefcases. Fogle has kept a low profile since then.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit and Susan Guyett in Indianapolis; Writing by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Photo: In this photo provided by Subway, Jared Fogle (L), signs a copy of his new book “Jared, The Subway Guy” for Alex Moser (C) and Gigi Garmendia (R) outside a Subway Restaurant in Rockefeller Center, New York City, August 21, 2006. REUTERS/Subway/Ray Stubblebine/HO