Actor Mark Salling, best known for his role as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on FOX’s Glee, was indicted on two federal charges of receiving and possessing child pornography on May 27.
According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice, one count alleges that Salling used the internet to download a video and an image depicting child pornography in December of last year. The other, also dealing with an event from last December, says Salling was in possession of two videos depicting child pornography. The image and videos all depict young girls.
The New York Times reports that Salling’s home was searched and authorities retrieved a laptop, flash drive and hard drive. Thousands of pornographic images involving children were found on these devices. When local authorities discovered the volume of Salling’s collection, the case was handed over to federal law enforcement.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, if you hurt a child you will be held accountable. These images are more than photographs, they are child abuse,” said Lt. Andrea Grossman, Commander of the L.A.P.D. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The Department of Justice corroborated this statement, “Those who download and possess child pornography create a market that causes more children to be harmed. Young victims are harmed every time an image is generated, every time it is distributed, and every time it is viewed,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker.
The DoJ also addressed the fact that Salling was a celebrity who was being brought up on these charges. “The traditional stereotype about the kinds of people who commit child sexual exploitation crimes simply doesn’t dovetail with reality. As our investigators can attest, the defendants in child pornography cases come in all ages and from all walks of life,” said Joseph Macias, a Los Angeles Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Salling has agreed to turn himself in on June 3 and will be formally arraigned at that time.