The former Glee actor Mark Salling has plead guilty to possessing child pornography and will now face between four and seven years in prison.
An ex-girlfriend alerted authorities in December 2015 and Salling was indicted in May 2016 with possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor. Investigators said they found more the 25,000 images and 600 videos depicting child pornography on computers and thumb drives owned by Salling. The content depicted children as young as three years old. Salling had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges but changed his plea to guilty today. He would have previously been facing up to twenty years in prison.
Salling played Noah "Puck" Puckerman for the duration of Glee's five seasons, and was an infrequent guest star in the final season. His character was a reformed bully who joined the Glee club and was also a part of the football team. Salling is also a musician.
According to court documents, Salling stated:
"I am pleading guilty because I am guilty of the charges and wish to take advantage of the promises set forth in this agreement, and not for any other reason."
Salling had also previously reached a $2.7m settlement with a woman who sued him for sexual battery. The woman claimed that Salling had forced her to have unprotected sex.
Within the guilty plea bargain, Salling will have to serve between four and seven years in prison, as well as 20 years of supervised release, registering as a sex offender and paying $50,000 restitution to each victim. Salling will not be allowed within 100ft of public schoolyards, playgrounds, parks, or any other children's facilities. He will also not be allowed to have communications with anyone under the age of 18 without supervision from their parent or legal guardian.