2ND UPDATE, 1:47 PM: Glee actor Mark Salling faces up to 2o-years in prison after he was charged today in a federal indictment for receiving and possessing child pornography on his laptop computer and a flash memory drive. Salling, best known for his role as Noah Puckerman on the Fox show, was named in a two-count indictment returned today by a federal grand jury.
The U.S Attorney’s Office from the Central District of California said Salling through his lawyer has agreed to surrender to federal authorities June 3 to face the two charges and be arraigned. The charge of receiving child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years. The possession charge also carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years.
“Those who download and possess child pornography create a market that causes more children to be harmed,” said U.S. 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.”
The indictment alleges Salling used the Internet to receive a still image and a video depicting child pornography on December 26, 2015. The second count charges him with possessing two videos depicting child pornography on December 29. The images and videos in both instances depicted young girls.
At the time of his arrest in December, Salling had just wrapped work on Adi Shankar’s film Gods And Secrets, which was shooting in Los Angeles. The arrest was not expected to impact production on the pic, but Shankar did respond to it:
“Today I was made aware of the serious allegations against Salling as a result of numerous media outlets hounding me as to whether he would remain in ‘Adi Shankar’s Gods & Secrets,’ ” he said in a statement. “I won’t feed our growing pitchfork culture. I’m going to wait for all the facts to arrive and if in fact these allegations are true, I will immediately take action which includes removing his scenes from the project.”
UPDATE, DECEMBER 30 PM: The LAPD offered some details today about the arrest of former Glee actor Salling on child pornography charges. It said special agents from the Department of Homeland Security worked the investigation along with the LAPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit. Police say “images and video of child pornography were recovered on Salling’s electronic media devices.” The actor was booked at LAPD’s Metropolitan Detention Center, and bail was set at $20,000.
PREVIOUS, DECEMBER 29: Former Glee star Mark Salling has been arrested for possession of child pornography. Los Angeles police department officials say the arrest was made after a warrant was obtained to search the 33-year-old actor’s residence in Sunland. More details are expected soon.
Salling recently worked on Adi Shankar’s Gods And Secrets, which has been filming in Los Angeles. Shankar, the film’s co-director and executive producer, is currently in Dubai, and a source said filming is nearly completed. Salling’s arrest is not expected to affect the production.
Salling, who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman on 96 episodes of Fox’s Glee, is a former child actor who got his start in show business at the age of 14 on Children Of The Corn: The Gathering.
Salling is the third industry figure arrested for possession of child pornography this year. In July, director Jace Alexander was arrested for “possessing and file-sharing illegal and obscene performances of sexual conduct by children less than 17 years of age.” A month later, former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle was arrested on charges that the received and distributed child pornography, and engaged in sexually explicit acts with children. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.