“Glee” actor Mark Wayne Salling is expected to plead guilty Monday to a federal charge of possessing child pornography and will likely serve at least four years behind bars.

Salling, 35, of Shadow Hills, best known for his role as Noah “Puck” Puckerman, a “major character” who was a “self-proclaimed badass” on the now-defunct Fox series, is expected to enter his plea before U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II, who will set a date for sentencing.

Salling has agreed to serve the four years, according to his plea agreement.

“The traditional stereotype about the kinds of people who commit child sexual exploitation crimes simply doesn’t dovetail with reality,” Joseph Macias, special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles, has said.

“As our investigators can attest, the defendants in child pornography cases come in all ages and from all walks of life,” he said. “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.”

Salling was named in a two-count indictment stemming from a December 2015 raid on his home when Los Angeles police detectives found thousands of images and videos depicting child pornography, according to court papers. Once investigators realized the scope of the illegal collection, the matter was referred to federal authorities for further action.

Salling was accused of receiving at least one illicit image and a pornographic video of young girls via the Internet and being in possession of a 16-gigabyte USB flash drive that contained two videos showing girls who were younger than 12, according to the indictment.

Although facing a maximum of 20 years in federal prison, Salling’s plea deal calls for a sentence of between four and seven years behind bars. He also agreed to serve 20 years of supervised release once he is set free and pay at least $50,000 to each victim seeking restitution, the document shows.

According to the Fandom website, Salling’s character a “major” part of the series Glee and was a high-school alum who was a Glee Club member and football player who then enlisted in the Air Force.

The character was was a “self-proclaimed ‘badass’ … well known around the school for constantly tossing students into dumpsters and for initially being a primary culprit for throwing slushies” in the faces of people.

 

—City News Service

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