Mark Salling Child Porn Case Officially Dismissed

Following the death of former Glee star Mark Salling, a judge signed off on papers dismissing the child pornography case against Salling on Tuesday, The Blast reports.

According to court documents, the United States Attorney’s request for dismissal — which was filed on Monday — was granted by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright.

The U.S. Attorney had previously filed to dismiss the case “without prejudice,” meaning they can file the case again if they choose.

Salling's sentencing hearing was scheduled for March, but the actor was found dead hanging from a tree near his home in Los Angeles in January.

He pleaded guilty to charges in December after reaching a plea deal, accepting four to seven years in prison. He also faced 20 years of supervised release after his prison sentence. The actor, who played Puck on Glee, also agreed to pay $50,000 in restitution to any victims who requested it. Prosecutors said there were over 50,000 images on his computer, some showing children as young as 3 years old.

Apparently, Salling had plenty of money to pay, though it’s unclear if it would have been enough. According to documents obtained by TMZ, he set up a corporation in 2009 to collect and process his income from Glee. People often do this to streamline their taxes. Salling’s company, which is managed by his father, is reportedly worth $1.971 million.

Salling’s victims will still have an opportunity to sue the actor’s estate for their $50k, though it’s not as sure of a thing as the restitution would have been in his sentencing. The plea deal included the payment, and once a judge had signed it in March it would have been set in stone.

Salling's official cause of death was asphyxia by hanging, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner.

The actor admittedly struggled with depression ahead of his death, telling the judge at his formal plea hearing in December that he was on medication to treat the disease. He allegedly attempted suicide by cutting his wrists shortly after reaching his plea agreement, though he and his lawyers denied that claim.

“He was in a dark place. He was very lonely. He was very depressed,” a friend told Us Weekly Tuesday. “He was going to prison soon. Whoever was in his life pretty much cut him off.”

The friend told Us Weekly that many people "cut" Salling out of their lives after he was arrested.


“After the scandal, a lot of people cut him out. There were certain people he would talk to here and there but he lost all his true friendships,” the friend said. “He moved away from Los Angeles after the news broke because he wanted to just get out.”

“There’s really no words in this sort of situation,” the friend told Us Weekly. “His closest friends are just in shock — from everything over the past couple of years.”