Actor Mark Salling, best known for his appearance in the popular TV series “Glee,” was charged Friday (May 27) with receiving and possessing child pornography, federal prosecutors announced.
Salling, 33, allegedly used the Internet to receive a still image and a video of young girls on December 26, 2015, according to a two-count indictment returned to a grand jury, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a news release.
“Those who download and possess child pornography create a market that causes more children to be harmed,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Young victims are harmed every time an image is generated, every time it is distributed, and every time it is viewed.”
A resident of the San Fernando Valley’s Shadow Hills neighborhood, the actor is also officially accused of possessing two videos that show child pornography on December 29, the statement said.
In 2015, authorities seized a laptop, hard drive and USB flash drive from Salling’s home that contained thousands of images and videos of child pornography, according to the press release. That material is still under investigation.
Through his attorney, Salling has agreed to turn himself in to federal authorities on June 3, prosecutors said. He is expected to be arraigned on that day.
“The traditional stereotype about the kinds of people who commit child sexual exploitation crimes simply doesn’t dovetail with reality,” said Special Agent in Charge Joseph Macias of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Los Angeles field office. “As our investigators can attest, the defendants in child pornography cases come in all ages and from all walks of life.”
Salling portrayed Noah “Puck” Puckerman in 96 episodes of “Glee” from 2009 to 2015, according to IMDB.com. He also appeared in the films “Rocky Road” and “Glee: the 3D Concert Movie.”