Months ago, I published an article about Indianapolis teenagers being marketed in photos posted on the Internet – months before Indianapolis native Jared Fogle‘s arrest for child pornography and sexual relations with multiple minors. How is it that Jared, reported to be worth 15 million dollars and at the top of the national hall of fame heap as Subway’s spokesman par excellence, fell from fame into infamy in a moment’s time?
Actually, Jared Fogle, born, raised, and living in Indianapolis, Indiana – the nation’s heartland – trafficked children around the world, according to testimonies, but his sentence is remarkably slight – a maximum of five years in prison and minimal restitution to certain child-victims. Jared’s family, whom I have known since childhood, know some of the marketed teens well, as do I.
For two years, every Saturday morning and many other times as well, I picketed against child trafficking beside the Indianapolis Jewish Community Center (JCC), where Jared’s dad is a devoted Board member. I reported child abuse at the JCC to law enforcement, the JCC Board, and to dozens of persons and agencies, to no avail. For reporting the child abuse I personally witnessed at the JCC – a huge 350-pound man lying on top of a child, who was pinned to the floor against a cement block wall – I was targeted by leaders in our own Jewish community, where a code of sexual abuse silence has persisted for generations, as in the Catholic church. By this code, victims are abandoned by both communities in staggering numbers. Predators are protected in both communities by members of the hierarchy and authorities.
I repeat … Jewish teenagers that I know and Jared’s parents know are freely and openly posted in photos on the Internet with captions like “the prostitute” and “Spank me.” No matter how many reports are made to the authorities of ongoing Indianapolis child trafficking, the fates of the child-victims are sealed by freedom from punishments for their predators.
For 10 years, according to testimonies, Jared Fogle’s depraved conversations about his exploitation of children were recorded as part of a criminal investigation. For many years, Jared Fogle met with Russell Taylor, his best friend and fellow pornographer, at a Broad Ripple bar, near my home, in what is known as the “Little Man’s Club,” in the VIP section, boasting of their crimes against children. In Indianapolis, who even cared?
Born, raised, and living in Indianapolis virtually my entire life, I know that it is a predator-friendly city of which I am ashamed. It is nearby to Bloomington, Indiana, where Alfred Kinsey’s name, as the Indiana University professor who made pornographic films in his home starring his wife in sexual acts with Kinsey’s fellow professors, is revered beyond words by officialdom.
Are we naïve enough to believe that predators do not nest in safe places for their insidious crimes against children to be overlooked? Indianapolis is a safe place for predators. Indianapolis is unsafe for children and for mandatory reporters of childhood sexual abuse.
In my years of picketing beside the JCC, I received credible death threats, stones hurled at me, and cars veering to hit me. I was regularly harassed by officers and staunchly protected by neighbors, who, as myself, understand that there is no more heinous evil than to defile a child.
As for my fate, since my picketing ended, both my husband and I have been targeted for our public protests against child abuse in the Jewish community. My husband was fired by his boss for my legal actions against the JCC, and his boss, an Indianapolis lawyer, who never knew my Dad, was appointed as the executor of my Dad’s estate instead of me.
As Jared relaxes at home instead of prison, those of us on the front-lines of the war against child trafficking are harassed, intimidated, and threatened ….