Glee star Mark Salling has been indicted on child pornography charges last week. Salling entered not guilty during his court appearance Friday which resulted in a July trial date being set. 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, according to a Guardian article.
Back in December of 2015, Police arrested Salling after a raid of his California home. Police also seized a laptop, hard drive, and a USB flash drive that the United States Attorney’s Office said “contained thousands of images and videos depicting child pornography.” However, he was released on a $20,000 bond while the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigated. US Attorney’s spokesman Thom Mrozek said investigators found an extensive, carefully organized collection of child abuse images during searches of Salling’s electronic devices.
After his not guilty plea, the judge released him with a lengthy list of regulations. Now, the US magistrate judge ruled that he can be released if he posts a $150,000 bail, which includes $100,000 of his own money. Prosecutors initially sought to have Salling held without bail, but reached an agreement with the actor’s attorneys to allow bail to be posted. Salling’s attorney has also surrendered Salling’s passport during Friday’s hearing.
“He is going to be wearing an ankle bracelet for monitoring,” Thom Mrozek, spokesman for United States Attorney’s Office, according to an Entertainment News article. “He has been ordered to not have any contact with children, the internet and drugs.”
As most facing child pornography charges, he is not allowed anywhere where teens and young children frequent. He has to be at least 100 yards from schools, playgrounds, and arcades while out on bond. He must actively search for employment and is subject to a mental health evaluation and counseling while in pretrial.
The actor is best known for his long-running role on Glee, which aired from 2009 to 2015. He also released an album, Pipe Dreams, in 2010. He shared a Screen Actors Guild award with the Glee cast in 2010 when the show was honored for outstanding TV comedy ensemble. Salling was to star in the upcoming miniseries Gods And Secrets. However, after his indictment, the show producers are replacing him.
“He has been cut from the miniseries,” Adi Shankar, one of his producers, wrote in a statement. “I will personally be paying for the reshoots, and I hope that Mark finds inner peace.”
Salling’s trial begins on July 12th, however, he still has a chance of being released from charges, according to his attorney in an interview from People magazine. They stated that if he only had a few images and a few videos, he could then get out of prison all together. However, if his computer has a boatload of child pornography images, then that’s “a different story.”
“That’s what it’s going to come down to, the numerical amount,” said his attorney. “If it’s minimal, you couldn’t ask for a better case in this context. Usually we’re used to seeing in the hundreds and thousands, numbers. More thousands than anything else.”