Former Jared Foundation director attempts suicide after federal child porn charges

Russell Taylor
Published:
Updated:

The former director of an Indianapolis organization aimed at preventing childhood obesity faces federal child pornography charges. On Wednesday, the Marion County Jail confirmed inmate Russell Taylor attempted suicide. He was taken to Eskenazi alert and talking.

Taylor, 43, was charged Monday with seven counts of production and one count of possession of child pornography. Investigators with the Indiana Crimes Against Children Task Force said his Wayne Township home was filled with nanny cams - cameras hidden in clocks. The videos taken with them, police say, showed what happened only in children's bedrooms and their bathrooms, where cameras were aimed at the shower area.

"Protecting those who cannot protect themselves will always be a priority of this office," said United States Attorney Josh Minkler. "Adults who sexually exploit children by producing child pornography knowingly cause vast harm to their victims and should expect appropriately strong punishment."

Investigators allegedly found more than 400 videos of child pornography at Taylor's home. They say some of the videos were produced inside the bathrooms and bedrooms of Taylor's current and former homes in Indianapolis over the past three years. The videos showed four children on seven different occasions either bathing or drying off after a bath. One child was as young as 9 years old. The oldest was 16.

Taylor admitted to police that he placed hidden cameras throughout his house, but said he did so because numerous people were coming in and out of the home and that things had been stolen.

When asked if he ever viewed the videos, he told investigators, "Rarely, if ever." According to court documents, "a majority of the scenes appeared to include nude children....Few scenes appear to show innocuous day-to-day activities without nudity."

An investigator with Indiana State Police got a tip from a woman who said Taylor offered to send her images or videos of young girls through text messages. The woman, who knew Taylor through her husband, told police that Taylor made the suggestion while discussing sexual matters - including bestiality and sadistic or masochistic abuse.

The woman, identified as "Jane Doe," was concerned about the messages and allowed police to extract them from her phone. In one of the messages, Taylor allegedly asked her if he and another adult female could come to Jane Doe's home and have sex with a horse. According to court documents, Jane Doe boards horses, but did not agree to the plan.

When asked if she thought the text messages were a joke, Jane Doe told the investigator, "You could tell he was serious."

Taylor served for eight years as the executive director of the Jared Foundation. Named for Jared Fogle, the famed Subway spokesperson and Indianapolis native, it aims to raise awareness about childhood obesity. Last week, Fogle wrote after Taylor's arrest, "I was shocked to learn of the allegations against Mr. Taylor and effective immediately, the Jared Foundation is severing all ties with Mr. Taylor."

It's unclear how the children ended up spending the night at Russell's home as guests. Court documents only indicate the children are not related to him.

Taylor is currently in the Marion County Jail. Initially he was charged with state child pornography charges, but he now faces more serious federal charges that could land him in prison for decades.

Filed under: