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With Jared likely heading to prison, Subway strives for distance

Jared Fogle’s acceptance of jail time in exchange for pleading guilty to child pornography and sex-with-minors charges has Subway scrambling to distance itself from the sandwich chain’s longtime spokesman.

Requests for comments on Fogle’s plea deal are met with reminders that ties with the former star of Subway’s commercials were severed after police and the FBI raided the pitchman’s home on July 7.

At that time, Subway announced an open-ended “suspension” of its 15-year relationship with Fogle. It also mentioned indications from Fogle that he did not expect any legal actions to be taken against him.

Meanwhile, Fogle’s wife also declared that she would no longer have anything to do with the Indianapolis-area resident, who became a cultural icon because of his role in promoting Subway. Katie Fogle said through a statement from her lawyer that she was “shocked” and “disappointed” by the accusations against her husband in the plea bargain, which eyewitnesses say Fogle has already signed. “I am in the process of seeking a dissolution of the marriage,” said his wife, with whom he has two children.

The plea deal cites two instances when Fogle had sex with girls under age 18, and says he routinely searched for sex with prostitutes, some still minors, while traveling on business.

Fogle reportedly acknowledged in the document that he had received child pornography from Russell Taylor, president of a foundation Fogle had established to promote healthful lifestyles for children. Taylor is already in prison.

Fogle, age 37, had inappropriate photos of 12 children on his computer, according to the plea deal. As part of the agreement, he is required to pay $100,000 to each of those 12 and the two underage girls with whom he had sex.

Prosecutors are expected to seek a sentence of 12 years in prison for Fogle. A judge can alter that time, but the plea bargain stipulates that Fogle cannot ask for less than five years of incarceration.

Subway had used Fogle as its spokesman since 2000, after he had contacted them about his unusual diet for losing 235 pounds. Part of his regimen was eating a Subway six-inch turkey sub every day, Fogle wrote.

He became a star in his own right, widely known as Jared the Subway Guy.

Fogle is confined to his home until he formally delivers his guilty plea and is sentenced.

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