Glee actor Mark Salling has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography depicting children as young as 10.
Known for playing Noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman on the hit comedy series Glee, Salling was arrested at his California home in December 2015 when police found a cache of over 50,000 photos and videos.
Last year the actor was originally facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail when he was charged with two counts of child pornography.
Now Salling, 35-years-old, has agreed to a plea deal for a reduced sentence meaning he will now be looking at between four to seven years behind bars.
The actor will have to register as a sex offender and once released from prison he will be supervised for 20 years.
Furthermore, Salling is banned from coming within 100 feet of schoolyards, parks, playgrounds, public swimming pools and video arcade venues.
The actor also has to pay approximately $50,000 restitution to any victim that requests it.
Additionally, he is unable to communicate verbally or electronically with any person under 18 without their parent or guardian present.
Finally Salling has to enter a sex offender treatment programme.
Authorities were given a tip-off about Salling by a woman who reported the actor to the police when he showed her his collection on at least two occasions.
The thousands of images and videos were downloaded between April and December 2015.
Using software to mask his IP address, no one knew about the pornography until the tip-off.
On Salling’s laptop police found more than 50,000 photos and videos and a further 4,000 stored on a flash drive.
Authorities had to use battering rams to access the actor’s home because he refused to let them in.
Salling also did not give the police his password and so they had to seize his computer and all other electronic devices.
This not the first time Salling has been in trouble with the law.
In 2011 Roxanne Gorzela claimed the actor forced her into having unprotected sex.
She also said when she confronted him several days later, he forced her to the ground injuring her knees.
The case was settled midway through the trial when Ms Gorzela dropped the sexual batter claim after reaching a $2.7 million settlement.
Salling did admit to negligently causing her to fall and injure herself.
Ms Gorzela is not believed to have been the one who tipped off the police about Sallings’s child pornography cache.
Lieutenant Andrea Grossman, commander of the LAPD Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, told The Sun:
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.
Salling rose to fame when he was cast as footballer Noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman in the hit FOX television series Glee.
First appearing in 2008, Salling quickly became a regular in the show until series five when it was announced he would only make guest appearances.
The actor also sings, writes, and produces his own music playing the piano, guitar, bass guitar and drums.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.