Former “Glee” co-star Mark Salling was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury on two counts of possessing child pornography, according to a report that first appeared on TMZ.
Salling, who appeared in 99 episodes over 6 seasons on the Fox show, was being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Unit, which seized the actor’s laptop, a hard drive, and a USB flash drive from his California home and found “hundreds” of images on them, according to Crime Watch Daily.
The 33-year-old actor was arrested Tuesday morning and was released hours later from a Los Angeles jail after posting a $20,000 bail. Salling’s court date is set for January 22, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Those who download and possess child pornography create a market that causes more children to be harmed,” United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement. “Young victims are harmed every time an image is generated, every time it is distributed, and every time it is viewed.”
According to TMZ, an ex-girlfriend of Salling’s tipped off police, giving them probable cause to investigate the matter before they raided his home.
Salling had remained active on social media, even after his initial arrest last December. But in the weeks leading up to his arrest on Tuesday, the actor’s Instagram and Twitter accounts had gone dry.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, if you hurt a child you will be held accountable,” said Lt. Andrea Grossman, commander of the LAPD Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, in a statement. “These images are more than photographs, they are child abuse.”
Friday’s indictment wasn’t Salling’s first encounter with law enforcement. Earlier this year, he reportedly entered a $2.7 million settlement agreement over a sexual battery lawsuit with his ex-girlfriend, Roxanne Gorzela.
It’s unclear if Gorzela is the same former girlfriend that tipped off law enforcement.
If found guilty on the two counts of possession of child pornography, Salling could face up to 20 years in prison.
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson.