INDIANAPOLIS (AP/WXIN) — A divorced Indiana couple who prosecutors say shared sexually explicit photos and videos of children with former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle were sentenced Monday to decades in prison. They were convicted for producing, possessing, and distributing child sexual abuse material.
A federal judge sentenced Angela Baldwin, 40, of Connersville, to 33 years and four months in prison, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said. A jury convicted her in October of two counts of producing child sexual abuse material, one count of conspiracy to produce such material, and one count of possessing it.
Her ex-husband Russell Taylor, who ran a nonprofit Fogle founded, pleaded guilty last year to 30 child pornography and sexual exploitation counts for his acts against nine children. Taylor, 50, was sentenced earlier Monday to 27 years behind bars, DOJ said.
The couple shared with Fogle videos and photos of the girls that were captured by hidden cameras Taylor installed in the then-couple’s Indianapolis home, prosecutors said. The victims were ages 9 to 16 when the crimes occurred.
DOJ said the investigation into Taylor, Baldwin and Fogle began in 2014, when an acquaintance of Taylor and Baldwin told Indiana State Police that Taylor had offered to send her child sexual abuse material. In 2015, a search warrant was executed at Taylor and Baldwin’s home, and child sexual abuse material was found on multiple electronic devices, per the DOJ.
Fogle, who became a Subway pitchman after shedding more than 200 pounds as a college student, in part by eating the chain’s sandwiches, was sentenced in 2015 to 15 years in prison for possession or distribution of child pornography and traveling across state lines to have sex with a minor.
Taylor was executive director of the Jared Foundation, a nonprofit that Fogle started to raise awareness and money to fight childhood obesity. He provided evidence that led to the criminal case against Fogle, his one-time boss and close friend. They were charged, pled guilty, and convicted in 2015.
He was originally sentenced in 2015, but U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in 2020 found that he had received ineffective legal assistance because his lawyer had failed to challenge three criminal charges against him for which there was no factual basis. Taylor appealed, and his conviction was vacated in 2020. The DOJ said during the re-investigation that followed, investigators discovered evidence that implicated Baldwin, and she was charged with production of child sex abuse material, possession of child sex abuse material and conspiracy to produce child sex abuse material.
During Taylor’s sentencing hearing, Pratt described the four-year grooming, exploitation and molestation of the children from 2011 to 2015 as a “mutual perversion” between Taylor, Baldwin and Fogle. Taylor pled guilty in June of 2021 to multiple offenses, including 24 counts of producing child sexual abuse material. Baldwin was convicted in October of 2021 of two counts of production of child sexual abuse material, one count of conspiracy to produce child sexual abuse material and one count of possession of child sexual abuse material.
“Russell Taylor and Angela Baldwin not only abused children by producing child sexual abuse material in their home, but also re-victimized children over and over again by contributing to the distribution of these images,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton.
Taylor’s attorneys asked Pratt to sentence him to 19 years, while prosecutors sought a prison sentence of 35 years. Pratt gave him a lesser sentence because he provided important information to federal law enforcement that helped them bring charges against Baldwin and Fogle.
Survivors of what Pratt called “horrific” abuse watched and testified in the downtown Indianapolis federal courtroom. And federal prosecutor Kathryn Olivier read statements during Taylor’s sentencing from some of the victims—some of whom are Taylor and Baldwin’s relatives—who said they expect to need mental health help and medication for the rest of their lives.
One victim said she checks for cameras anytime she’s in the bathroom at a house that isn’t hers. Another woman testified that she suffers from separation anxiety and will never allow her children to attend sleepovers at friends’ homes. A third said she has lost the ability to trust and love.
One victim testified that she engaged in self-mutilation after the abuse became known. “You had no right to do this to me or any of the other children,” she scolded Taylor, who sat at the defense table in a green prison jumpsuit.
In all, nine young girls told investigators that they had been groomed, plied with drugs and alcohol, introduced to sex toys, and were assaulted by both Taylor and Baldwin, often on video which was shared with Fogle, who texted he wanted to meet one of the children or take her on a business road trip.
Taylor told the court Monday that he was a “vile, selfish, self-loathing, sorry excuse” for a human, but that time in prison had changed him. He said he went to sex offender rehabilitation class while incarcerated. He admitted that he “selfishly viewed [victims] as instruments for our own desires.”
“My actions hurt you,” Taylor told the survivors gathered with victims’ rights advocates and a service dog in the courtroom. “I violated your guys’ trust.”
Pratt noted the role that Taylor’s guilty plea and cooperation in revealing the roles Fogle and Baldwin, played in sentencing him once again to 27 years in prison.
“The defendant ruined these girls’ lives,” Pratt said of Taylor, who already served seven years of his previous sentence and will receive credit toward his new term for helping revealing the roles of Fogle and Baldwin. And she was even less lenient with Baldwin.
Survivors, including Baldwin’s young relatives, related that she had sexually abused them and said her text messages recorded her gleeful responses. She also threw a laptop computer with explicit child pornography videos into Fall Creek, swallowed a SIM card from a cell phone, and told victims to lie to investigators.
One survivor told NEWS10’s sister station in Indianapolis that in the five years between the arrests of Fogle and Taylor and her own indictment, Baldwin asked one of the teenagers to accompany her on a speaking engagement at a school as she portrayed herself as a domestic violence victim.
Baldwin’s attorney told the court that her client, as Taylor’s wife, “did it for him.” The defendant also testified that she was overtaken by fear. “I hurt those that I loved, utterly destroying my family,” she said. “I am not the person I was back then.”
But, “It’s a crime, what you did to these children,” Pratt said, calling the abuse “egregious.” She laid out a sentance lasting over 33 years in federal prison, enough time to afford Baldwin the mental health services the court determined she needs.
The court found that Baldwin was abusing children even when Taylor was out of town on business trips. “She can’t blame those instances on Russell Taylor,” Pratty said.
Baldwin told the judge she would appeal her conviction and sentence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.