The man who led former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle’s charitable foundation was sentenced Monday to 27 years in federal prison for sexually molesting young girls with his wife and installing cameras in his home to film and photograph the victims without their knowledge.
Russell Taylor, 50, pleaded guilty last year to 30 child pornography and sexual exploitation crimes for his acts against nine children, aged nine to 16 years old, at his west-side home. Two of the girls were sexually molested by Taylor and his wife, Angela Baldwin.
The couple shared videos and photos of the girls captured via hidden cameras with Fogle, who was sentenced in 2015 to 15 years imprisonment for possession or distribution of child pornography and traveling across state lines to have sex with a minor.
Baldwin was convicted in October 2021 on four child exploitation and child pornography crimes. She was sentenced to more than 33 years in prison.
Victim speaks to IndyStar
Taylor’s maximum sentence could have been life imprisonment, but US District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt gave him a lesser sentence because he provided important information to federal law enforcement that helped them bring charges against Baldwin and Fogle.
Outside a US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana courtroom in downtown Indianapolis, one of the victims told IndyStar she didn’t think 27 years was enough.
“We have a lifetime sentence,” she said, citing the grief and trauma she and other victims are still living with. IndyStar is not naming her from her to protect the privacy of a victim of sexual abuse.
In a statement given to the court before the judge’s sentencing decision, the victim said she was “showered with money, drugs, gifts and empty promises” by Taylor and Baldwin.
“I will always check for hidden cameras,” she said. “My ability to trust is completely gone.”
Federal prosecutor Kathryn Olivier read statements from other victims — some of whom were 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.
Whenever a photo is taken of her without her consent, like at family gatherings, it spins her into a panic attack.
Because of the abuse, “I thought about death all the time,” one of the victims said through Olivier.
Taylor calls himself ‘vile’
Prosecutors requested Taylor be sentenced to 35 years, while his attorneys asked the judge to sentence him to 19 years, citing his cooperation with law enforcement.
Taylor, who was arrested in 2015, told the court Monday that he was a “vile, selfish, self-loathing, sorry excuse” for a human, but that seven years in prison had changed him. He said he’d taken advantage of a sex offender rehabilitation class while incarcerated.
In describing how he’s changed, he described the victims as “ladies,” prompting a correction by Judge Pratt.
“They were all children,” she said.
Pratt also described the four-year grooming, exploitation and harassment of the children from 2011-15 as a “mutual perversion” between Taylor, Baldwin and Fogle.
The victim who spoke with IndyStar said she didn’t believe that Taylor had changed. She pointed out that Taylor expressed shame at having installed cameras in his house during his statement about him, but that he did not directly call out the sexual exploitation of minors to which he pleaded guilty.
It was the first time she had spoken in public about her experience.
Taylor was originally sentenced in 2017 but a judge found his lawyer failed to challenge three criminal charges against him for which there was no factual basis. His case was reopened because he received ineffective legal assistance.
The victim who spoke with IndyStar didn’t testify that time. “I regretted that a lot,” she said.
She felt something after she took the stand. It may have been relieved, but it’s too early to know.
“It’s been a long time coming,” she told IndyStar. “I don’t think I know how I feel just yet.”
Call IndyStar courts reporter Johnny Magdaleno at 317-273-3188 or email him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @IndyStarJohnny
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism