Mark Salling has officially entered a guilty plea in his child pornography case. The 35-year-old actor, best known for his role on Glee, appeared in Los Angeles court this week to enter his guilty plea as part of a plea deal. Originally, Salling was facing 20 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography. As part of the plea deal, the former actor will reportedly serve 4 to 7 years in jail for his crimes.
The crimes committed by Mark Salling are truly egregious. As part of his plea agreement, the actor admitted to owning roughly 50,000 images and 600 videos of young children being sexually abused. According to court documents from the case, some of the content depicted children as young as three-years-old. Salling's attorney Michael Proctor had this to say in a statement about his client, following the news of the guilty plea.
"Mark is focused on accepting responsibility and attempting to atone for his conduct."
In addition to serving his time in prison, Mark Salling will have to register as a sex offender and will have to meet a strict set of conditions upon his release, as well as during his time in prison. Following his release, Salling will have 20 years of supervision and will undergo a treatment program during his incarceration. Salling will also have no verbal or electronic contact with anyone under the age of 18, he must stay 100-feet away from schools, parks, public swimming pools, youth centers, playgrounds and arcades. The actor will pay $50,000 in restitution to each victim, according to court documents.
Mark Salling was arrested in December 2015, after his former girlfriend called the police and reported he was in possession of the child pornography. He reportedly showed off his collection to her prior to her contacting authorities. His plea deal was reached in October, but was officially entered in this week. Salling is currently out on bail, but he's going to be heading to jail very soon. The once promising actor, who played Noah "Puck" Puckerman on Fox's Glee from 2009 to 2015, has killed any hope that he could ever have any sort of career in the public eye ever again.
Rather distressingly, according to court documents, the child pornography he was in possession of, which was found on a laptop and a USB flash drive, was reportedly very well organized and he was also said to have a manual that instructs men on how to have intercourse with young girls. Sentencing is said to take place in March. TMZ initially reported that Salling had made good on his plea deal. They also noted that he cut his wrists in what appeared to be a suicide attempt earlier this year, but his attorney says Salling was not trying to kill himself.