Glee actor pleads guilty to child porn charges

Glee actor Mark Salling has plead guilty to child pornography charges related to his 2015 arrest. As a result of his plea deal signed on Tuesday, which must still be approved by a federal judge, Salling will register as a sex offender and has agreed to pay $50,000 to each victim who submits a formal restitution request. He will to serve between four and seven years in jail after avoiding what could have been 20 years behind bars.

He will also spend 20 years under supervised release, during which his internet use will be monitored and controlled.

Salling, who played Noah Puckerman on Glee, admitted to using software to mask his IP address and download thousands of images of child pornography, which investigators found in 2015 after acting on a tip, reportedly from a woman who was shown the content multiple times.

According to the plea agreement, more than 50,000 images and videos of child porn and erotica were found on Salling’s laptop, and another 4,000 images and 160 videos of child porn were on his thumb drive. Some of the female victims were as young as 3 to 5 years old, federal prosecutors said.

Deadline reported that Salling stated that he is “pleading guilty because I am guilty of the charges.”

In doing so, he also avoids a lifetime of supervised parole, however, he must also participate in counseling and avoid most areas where children congregate, such as schools, playgrounds, and other venues.

Prosecutors are also asking a judge to impose a fine.

Salling was initially arrested by Los Angeles police on Dec. 29, 2015, and released on bond. However, once investigators realized the scope of the child pornography, the matter was referred to federal authorities, which resulted in an indictment to which he initially pleaded not guilty in June 2016.

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