Updated, Oct. 5, 2017, 7:50 a.m. PT: Former Glee star Mark Salling has concluded his child pornography case by taking a plea deal. On Wednesday, Oct. 4, he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.
The Blast obtained the court documents, which reveal that he has agreed to serve four to seven years behind bars. Salling will have to register as a sex offender and have no communication with anyone under the age of 18 unless a parent or legal guardian is present.
Once his prison sentence is complete, Salling will reportedly be on parole for 20 years, enter a sex offender treatment program and have to stay 100 feet away from public swimming pools, playgrounds, video arcades, schoolyards and parks. He will also have to pay $50,000 in restitution to any victim who has requested it.
Salling took the plea deal after facing up to 20 years in prison. He was originally arrested back in December 2015 after law enforcement officials found more than 50,000 images and videos of child pornography on his computer and 4,000 images on a flash drive.
Glee‘s Mark Salling has turned himself in to federal authorities on child pornography charges, but that doesn’t mean he is admitting guilt. At his hearing in Los Angeles on Friday, Salling pleaded not guilty to two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. Salling faces some pretty serious consequences for his alleged actions whether he turns out to be guilty or innocent.
The charges were brought after federal authorities seized thousands of images of underage girls from Salling’s laptop, a hard drive and a USB flash drive last December. Salling was told in court that he must meet several conditions in order to be released until his trial. These include posting $150,000 bail ($100,000 of which must be paid out from his own account), wearing a GPS monitoring bracelet and agreeing to take regular drug tests.
And there’s more. Salling’s passport was taken away, and he will only be allowed to access electronic devices that have been approved by federal authorities. He isn’t allowed to step within 100 feet of a school, park, arcade or any other venue where children hang out.
And it’s pretty obvious that his legal woes are going to cost Salling in professional opportunities. The actor, who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman on Glee, was immediately cut from the miniseries Gods and Secrets following news of the child pornography charges.
This isn’t the first time Salling has had trouble with the law. In 2015, he settled a lawsuit with ex-girlfriend Roxanne Gorzela, who accused him of sexual battery. He was ordered to pay Gorzela $2.7 million.
Salling’s trial is set to begin on July 12. If convicted of both federal charges, he faces a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.