‘Glee’ Star Mark Salling Pleads Not Guilty To Child Pornography Charges

Glee star Mark Salling, who played Puck on the hit show, has been indicted on child pornography charges. Salling was arraigned Friday in a federal court in Los Angeles. Mark pled not guilty to federal charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. 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.

Salling was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on two counts of child pornography. The indictment alleges he had obtained and possessed pornographic photos and videos depicting young girls to which he pled not guilty.

Salling was arrested in December of 2015 after a raid of his Sunland, California, home. In the raid, police 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.” He was released on a $20,000 bond while the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigated.

In May, 2016, charges were filed against the Glee alum. He stood handcuffed and nervous during his proceedings on Friday. After his not guilty plea, the judge released him with a lengthy list of regulations.

E! News reported that the judge agreed to release Salling on a $150,000 cash bond due to the court by Monday. Salling paid the fine with a $100,000 cashier’s check on Friday with a close friend putting up the additional $50,000 needed for his $150,000 bond.

“He is going to be wearing an ankle bracelet for monitoring,” Thom Mrozek, spokesman for United States Attorney’s Office, told reporters. “He has been ordered to not have any contact with children, the internet and drugs.”

In addition to the monitoring device, Salling is not allowed to access to the internet. If he needs access to the web, he must submit a request to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Lastly, he can have no contact with individuals under the age of 18-years-old, including the person that tipped the authorities off about his alleged child pornography activities.

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.

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 wrote in a statement. “I will personally be paying for the reshoots, and I hope that Mark finds inner peace.”

Before heading to court on Friday, Salling reached out to Lou Shapiro, who is not involved in the case to seek advice on what to expect.

“The charges are very serious,” criminal defense attorney Lou Shapiro told People Magazine about Salling’s case. “[If convicted], he would be a convicted felon and have to register as a sex-offender for the rest of his life.

Depending on what was found in his possession and if he is convicted, Salling could avoid jail time.

He further told People Magazine, “It depends on what he has on his computer. If he had a few images, a few videos, he could get out of prison altogether. If he had boatloads of them, that’s a different matter. That’s what it’s going to come down to, the numerical amount. 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.”

Salling’s trial begins on July 12.

[Photo by Richard Shotwell/AP Images]