Glee star charged with child pornography offences

'Those who download and possess child pornography create a market that causes more children to be harmed,' prosecutor says

Harry Cockburn
Saturday 28 May 2016 12:31
Mark Salling
Mark Salling

Former Glee actor Mark Salling has been indicted on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography.

The 33-year-old actor, who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman in the musical television series, was arrested last December by Los Angeles Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Court documents said a search warrant had uncovered as many as 1,000 images of child pornography, with the photographs allegedly saved on a laptop, a hard drive and a flash drive.

The actor was charged with two counts of child pornography. The first alleges Mr Salling used the internet on 26 December to receive an image and a video depicting child pornography. The second count alleges Salling possessed two videos depicting child pornography three days later.

Police said Mr Salling was arrested after they received a tip from a “concerned person”.

“Those who download and possess child pornography create a market that causes more children to be harmed,” Eileen Decker, US attorney for the central district of California, said in a statement.

“Young victims are harmed every time an image is generated, every time it is distributed, and every time it is viewed."

Lt Andrea Grossman, Commander of the LAPD Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said: “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.”

The charge for receiving child pornography carries a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison. Possession of child pornography also has a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Lawyers for Mr Salling said the actor had agreed to surrender to federal authorities.

Mr Salling was also sued for sexual battery in 2013, and settled the case out of court for $2.7m (£1.85m) in March this year.