INDIANAPOLIS — The child pornography case against Russell Taylor, the former head of Jared Fogle’s obesity campaign foundation has been vacated.
Southern District of Indiana Judge Tanya Walton Pratt made the order to vacate Taylor’s sentence on account of Taylor’s defense attorney was “lacking experience and preparation in federal court criminal proceedings.”
In December 2015, Taylor was sentenced to 27 years in prison after pleading guilty to 12 counts of sexual exploitation of children and one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography and conspiracy to distribute and receive child pornography.
Three of the sexual exploitation of children counts of were based on videos that the court determined “do not depict sexually explicit conduct.” At the time, Taylor’s attorney failed to recognize that and advised him to plead guilty to all counts, the court found.
It was also Taylor’s attorney’s first criminal case in federal court, and he “did not undertake the study and research he needed to competently assist Taylor,” Pratt wrote.
“There is no question that competent work by counsel would have produced a different outcome in this case,” Pratt wrote.
Since the entire plea agreement was negotiated as a package, Taylor’s case will begin again from the beginning.
Taylor worked for 12 years as the executive director of the Jared Foundation, a nonprofit Fogle founded to combat childhood obesity. According to documents filed in federal court in the first case, Fogle and Taylor traveled extensively together – with Fogle often asking Taylor to arrange for prostitutes and increasingly expressing interest in children.
In November 2015, Fogle was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison.