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CRIMINAL CHARGES

Subway suspends spokesman ties despite lack of charges

A recent, ongoing news story highlights how quickly criminal charges can change a defendant’s life. Jared Fogle, now 37, is best known as the long-time television spokesperson for Subway, the sandwich restaurant that Fogle claimed helped him lose hundreds of excess pounds starting in 1998.

The pitchman later founded the Jared Foundation, an organization that encourages children to exercise and eat healthy meals. The foundation’s executive director was arrested by federal agents in May and charged with possessing and producing underage pornography. Investigators removed sexually explicit photos and more than 400 videos of children from the accused man’s home, where authorities claimed the material was produced.

Fogle distanced himself from the director. However, two months later, agents raided the Subway spokesman’s home and seized several items including electronic equipment. Subway “suspended” the company’s association with Fogle, although company officials announced they felt the investigation was an extension of the child porn probe involving the foundation’s director.

Fogle’s criminal defense lawyer stated that his client was not arrested, detained or charged by police. The Chicago Tribune reported that Fogle’s connection to the director’s criminal case may be due to the recovery of a computer pen drive in the first raid. The flash drive reportedly contained underage pornography videos, and a file with unknown contents listing the name of Fogle’s foundation -– no clear connection between the materials was reported.

Online underage pornography and associated sex offenses can carry extremely heavy penalties, including mandatory and sometimes life-long sex offender registration. However, consequences often don’t wait for convictions. Allegations of wrongdoing can cause instant cracks, if not the collapse, of personal relationships and professional alliances.

Defendants often aren’t aware of the legal rights they have during or after an arrest, search or seizure. Without a legal adviser, a defendant may say or do self-incriminating things.

Source: The Indianapolis Star, “Police raid Zionsville home of Subway pitchman Jared Fogle,” Madeline Buckley, Justin L. Mack and Tim Evans, July 07, 2015

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