Former 'Glee' star Mark Salling has pleaded guilty to child porn charges

Former 'Glee' star Mark Salling has pleaded guilty to child porn charges

With all the glitz and glamour of celebrity life, it is sometimes easy to forget that the stars we see on our screens are just regular people. And, like the rest of us, they are capable of doing terrible things.

Bill Cosby, Woody Allen and R Kelly have all come under fire recently for alleged sexual offences, however none have admitted committing any illegal acts thus far. But they are not the only ones to have been accused of such crimes.

Mark Salling, an actor who is most famous for his role as Noah 'Puck' Puckerman on Glee, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two counts of receiving and possessing images of child sexual abuse. The 35-year-old was originally arrested back in December 2015, after police got a tip that the actor had sexually explicit pictures of minors on his computer, and he has finally admitted to it two years later.

The case did not go to trial, however, as Salling entered a plea bargain with California's district attorney - which is yet to be officially approved by a federal judge - in return for lesser charges. Usually, an offence like this would result in a sentence of up to 20 years in a correctional facility, but Salling's guilty plea means he will only serve between four and seven years behind bars.

As part of the plea deal, the actor has also agreed to pay $50,000 to any victim who submits a formal restitution request, and will have to spend 20 years following his release under supervision. During this time, the actor's internet activity will be closely monitored and controlled.

He must also agree to attend regular counseling, and make a deliberate effort to avoid areas where children are known to congregate. This includes schools, parks, and other public venues with a young appeal. However, the former Glee star will not be held under lifetime supervised parole, something which most people charged with child-related sex offences are normally expected to comply with. Again, this is due to the agreement he entered when he pleaded guilty.

According to news sources, Salling reported that he was, "pleading guilty because I am guilty of the charges."

Disturbing details in the plea reveal that the actor's laptop contained more than 50,000 explicit images and videos of child pornography and erotica, and that a further 4,000 pictures and 160 videos were discovered on a USB drive. Furthermore, according to federal prosecutors, records also show that some of the victims shown in the abusive material were as young as three years old.

Salling admitted using software to hide his IP address in order to discreetly download the offensive material, and was only discovered when a woman came to law enforcement claiming that she had been shown some of the images on multiple occasions.

News of his conviction has sparked some controversy, as many believe that Salling deserves a much longer sentence for his crimes.

Many are also angry at the star for ruining Glee, a show which can no longer be re-watched without the knowledge that one of its stars has been involved in such disgusting activity.

The judge's decision on Salling's plea deal will be reached shortly.