Glee actor Mark Salling has agreed to plead guilty to possessing a massive amount of child pornography. Salling could spend up to 20 years in federal prison and will have to register as a sex offender for life when he is released from prison. In addition, the Glee star will not be allowed near any places where children might be, like schools, arcades, Chucky Cheese, etc. and will have to give up his computer for random searches and seizures as well as enter in a treatment program. The plea agreement still needs formal approval by the judge.
35-year old Mark Salling reportedly showed an ex-girlfriend the sexual imagery depicting minors in hope that they could use it in the context of their sexual relationship. In his plea agreement, the actor admitted to downloading more than 50,000 images of child pornography and erotica, sexualized images of children, on his laptop and another 4,000 photos and 160 videos of child pornography on a thumb drive. An officer who described the images as children as young as 10 in sexual situations and called the content disturbing. The content was downloaded from at least April through December 2015, according to the indictment. Salling's ex reported him to law enforcement after she saw the images.
Since Mark Salling made a plea agreement, the actor should only have to serve 4 to 7 years in federal prison, but as previously mentioned, the judge has yet to make a formal approval for the plea. Salling was charged with two counts of receiving and possessing images of child sexual abuse in May 2016, and faced a possible 20 years behind bars. In addition to the punishments listed above, the court has also ordered that Salling pay each victim $50,000 dollars upon release from prison.
The allegations were first reported by Crime Watch Daily. It said police used battering rams to get into the house because Salling refused to let them in to the home. His computer and other electronic devices were reportedly seized by the police after Salling refused to tell them his passwords. According to the records, the house raided by the LAPD belongs to Jonathan Hernandez, who has been Salling's roommate as far back as 2011, but he was not brought up on any charges for possessing the illegal content.
Mark Salling shot to fame playing Noah "Puck" Puckerman, the football player in the hit FOX series Glee. He first appeared on the hit show in 2008 and was a cast regular until Season five. His December arrest was not the star's first brush with the law. In March he allegedly reached a $2.7million dollar settlement with a woman who had sued him for sexual battery. In 2011, another woman claimed he forced her to have unprotected sex and then when she confronted him several days later, he pushed her to the ground injuring her knees. It was reported that the case was settled midway through trial after woman dropped the sexual battery claim. Mark Salling admitted to negligently causing her to fall and injure herself. She is not believed to have been the woman who tipped off the authorities. You can check out the rest of the court documents via Deadline.