Actor Mark Salling today pleaded guilty to a federal offense of possessing child pornography and as part of a plea agreement admitted he possessed some 25,000 images of children engaged in sexual conduct. The 35-year-old actor, best known for co-starring on Fox’s Glee, faced a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, but as part of the plea agreement is expected to spend four to seven years in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release and registry as a sex offender. Sentencing is set for March 7.
His vast collection of child pornography was discovered on a laptop computer, a hard drive, and a USB flash drive after Salling showed some of the images to a girlfriend, who then reported him to the police. The plea deal was made in October.
The case against him is the product of an investigation by the Los Angeles Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which includes officers with the Los Angeles Police Department and special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. The Beverly Hills Police Department provided substantial assistance.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joey Blanch of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.