Oh no, say it isn’t so!
Mark Salling has been indicted on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography on Friday (27th May), following an investigation by the US Attorney’s Office.
He was first arrested on 29th December in Los Angeles last year but was later released on bail.
At that time, investigators seized a laptop, hard drive, and USB flash drive from the actor’s home. The gadgets reportedly contained thousands of pictures and videos depicting child pornography. According to THR, Mark had at least one photo and video of “a prepubescent minor and a minor who had not attained 12 years of age”. The title of one of the videos suggests the child was 5 years old.
“Those who download and possess child pornography create a market that causes more children to be harmed. Young victims are harmed every time an image is generated, every time it is distributed, and every time it is viewed,” US Attorney Eileen M. Decker said via an official statement.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, if you hurt a child you will be held accountable. These images are more than photographs, they are child abuse,” Commander of the LAPD Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Lt. Andrea Grossman added.
That having said, the statement also stressed that an indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime, but “every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court”.
If convicted (of receiving child pornography), Mark faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years. The charge of possessing child pornography also carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
33-year-old Mark Wayne Salling is best known for his role as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on American musical comedy-drama television series, “Glee“. He’s also a singer-songwriter, composer, and musician.
He has agreed to surrender to federal authorities on 3rd June to face the charges in the indictment, and is expected to be arraigned on the indictment on that date.