17:26, October 04 121 0 theguardian.com

2017-10-04 17:26:03
Glee actor Mark Salling faces up to seven years in prison over child abuse images

Actor Mark Salling, who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman in the TV series Glee, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to possession of child abuse images involving a prepubescent minor. As part of the plea agreement, Salling agreed to serve between four and seven years in prison and must also register as a sex offender.

After being arrested in December 2015, the 35-year-old was indicted in May 2016 on two counts for possession of child abuse images on both his computer and a flash drive. According to documents obtained by the Blast, Salling will have to obey strict guidelines after his eventual release from prison; he will be under supervised release for 20 years, can have no communication with anyone under the age of 18 unless in the presence of a parent or legal guardian, and must remain at least 100ft away from public schoolyards, playgrounds, parks, and other children’s facilities.

By pleading guilty, Salling avoided a maximum sentence of 20 years, although he was also ordered to pay each of his victims $50,000 and enter a treatment program for sex offenders. According to court documents that have circulated, Salling stated, “I am pleading guilty because I am guilty of the charges and wish to take advantage of the promises set forth in this agreement, and not for any other reason.”

Salling had downloaded over 50,000 images and videos of child abuse to his computer, and another 4,000 on his flash drive, between April and December of 2015, while concealing his IP address with special software. Crime Watch Daily also reports that, in December 2015, the Los Angeles police department’s internet crimes against children task force unit conducted a raid on Salling’s residence in Sunland, California, using a battering ram to enter the front door.

In March, Salling reached a $2.7m settlement with a woman who sued him for sexual battery, claiming Salling forced her to engage in unprotected sex.

Salling appeared in all six seasons of the hit television show Glee, which ended in 2015. Following his indictment, he was dropped from Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets, a project that also stars Chaz Bono and Denise Richards.