The woman, identified in court papers as “Jane Doe,” said she was getting disturbing messages from Russell Taylor, a friend of Fogle’s who was also the head of his charitable foundation, the Jared Foundation.
Jane Doe called an Indiana state police officer and told him about the messages.
“If she doesn’t make the phone call, we don’t find out about Taylor,” Assistant US Attorney Steve DeBrota told The Indianapolis Star. “If we don’t find out about Taylor, we don’t find out about Fogle. And 14 [young victims] wouldn’t have been rescued.”
In the messages, Taylor had “offered to send her images or videos of young girls,” an affidavit states. “Russell Taylor made this offer during a series of text messages that included discussions of sexual matters, including bestiality and sadistic or masochistic abuse.”
In an interview with police officer Kevin Getz, Jane Doe said she became friends with Taylor and his wife through her husband, who died in 2013.
Getz said he viewed the messages on Jane Doe’s phone in October 2014 and discovered that she and the Taylors had exchanged dozens of texts that were sexual in nature, according to the affidavit.
Jane Doe apparently grew uncomfortable with the messages when Taylor allegedly began offering to send her child pornography and asked if he and another adult woman could engage in a sexual act with one of her horses.
He also sent her an image of a woman engaging in bestiality with a dog, according to the affidavit.
As a result of the information from Jane Doe, a search warrant was executed on Taylor’s home in April 2015.
Police discovered videos of nude children ages 11 to 16 who were secretly recorded in his home, according to the affidavit.
Investigators also found a thumb drive containing commercially produced child pornography, along with a document with Taylor’s employer, the Jared Foundation, listed in the file name.
In a plea deal Tuesday, Taylor admitted to secretly producing videos of 12 children and sharing some of the videos with Fogle. He faces at least 15 years in prison.
Fogle was charged last month with possessing and distributing child pornography and traveling across state lines to have sex with minors. He plans to plead guilty to the crimes and pay $1.4 million in restitution to 14 victims.