Mark Salling is about to face off against the feds. The Glee actor, 33, will be hit with a federal indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for two charges related to child pornography, a rep for the U.S. Attorney's Office confirms to Us Weekly.
“Those who download and possess child pornography create a market that causes more children to be harmed,” United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement. “Young victims are harmed every time an image is generated, every time it is distributed, and every time it is viewed.”
Salling was arrested back in December after a concerned citizen alerted the Internet Crimes Against Children LAPD task force that the actor had an extensive collection of child pornography.
The ICAC task force then obtained a search warrant and found thousands of images in his Sunland, California, home, on his laptop, a hard drive and a USB flash drive.
Salling was later released on $20,000 bail, with his family posting 10 percent of his bail, according to TMZ.
This isn’t the first time Salling has been in trouble with the law, however. In 2013, his then-girlfriend Roxanne Gorzela filed charges of sexual battery, assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In the papers, Gorzela alleged that Salling forced her to have sex without a condom; the actor denied the charges and the case was settled out of court.
Adi Shankar, the director of Gods and Secrets, told Us in December that he would cut the actor from the film if the allegations of child pornography turned out to be true.
Salling isn't the only celebrity who has made headlines for possession of child pornography. Late last year, former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle was sentenced to 15 years in prison for child pornography charges.
“While people are often surprised when high-profile individuals come under scrutiny in such investigations, we hope cases like this will raise awareness about law enforcement’s vigilance to combat the online sexual exploitation of children and hold those involved, regardless of their position, accountable for their actions,” Joseph Macias, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Los Angeles said in a statement.
If convicted of receiving child pornography, Salling could face a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison. He could be sentenced to 20 years for possessing the underage pornography.
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