Entertainment & Arts

Glee actor Mark Salling charged over child abuse images possession

Mark Salling Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mark Salling appeared in Glee as Noah 'Puck' Puckerman from 2009 to 2015

Former Glee actor Mark Salling has been formally charged with two counts of receiving and possessing images of child sexual abuse.

Authorities said the 33-year-old agreed to surrender himself on 3 June, when he is expected to appear in a federal court in Los Angeles.

The actor was arrested in December after police seized computer equipment they say contained thousands of images.

If convicted, the charges each carry a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

Police arrested Salling after investigators received a tip he was in possession of images of children being sexually abused. He was released on $20,000 (£18,000) bail and was initially expected to be charged in Los Angeles County court.

But after authorities realised the "scope of the collection", the case was handed over to federal prosecutors, the US Attorney's Office said.

A laptop, a hard drive and a mobile flash drive were seized from Salling's home. The actor was charged with one count of using the internet to obtain a pornographic still image and video of young girls, and a second count of possessing two child pornography videos that also feature young girls.

Prosecutors said investigators are continuing to review the material seized.

"The traditional stereotype about the kinds of people who commit child sexual exploitation crimes simply doesn't dovetail with reality," Joseph Macias, a special agent in charge for the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement announcing the charges.

He added that suspects can be of "all ages and from all walks of life."

Salling played bad-boy football player Noah "Puck" Puckerman on the hit US show Glee from 2009 to 2015.

His representatives have yet to make a statement on the charges.

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