Former Glee star, Mark Salling, has died from what is suspected to be suicide, just weeks before he was due for sentencing for possession of child abuse images.
Mark’s lawyer, Michael J. Proctor, confirmed that the 35-year-old was found dead in Los Angeles, however, he did not reveal the exact cause of death.
Mark pleaded guilty to possession of indecent imagery of children late last year. He was expected to get between four and seven years in prison, followed by twenty years of supervised release. He also agreed to pay at least $50,000 to each victim looking for compensation.
“I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning” Michael Proctor said in a statement.
“Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgement.”
Mark was reportedly found near a riverbed in Tujunga, next to a little league baseball field. Currently, his death is being classed as a suicide. While some sources such as TMZ confirm that his death was a suicide, the investigation is still ongoing. Those close to him referred to him as a broken man, who probably feared the sentence to be passed down to him for possessing thousands of indecent images of children.
Glee’s former vocal coordinator, Tim Davis, led the tributes on Tuesday, tweeting,
“Today we lost another Glee cast member. Yes, he committed crimes against children. Yes, it’s horrific. But #MarkSalling was a broken man, no doubt an abuse victim himself.”
“Having compassion for #MarkSalling in no way minimizes his crimes, nor does it minimize the pain and devastation of the victims of those crimes.” he added in a follow-up tweet a few minutes later. The message was quickly re-tweeted or favorited by multiple Glee actors.”
The actor played football player Noah “Puck” Puckerman on Glee from 2009 t0 2015. After his departure from the show, he was arrested after a tip-off that he was in possession of images of children being sexually abused. Investigators then discovered thousands of those images on his laptop and hard drive.
Assistant US Attorney, Joey Blanch, told the courts that between April and December 2015, Mark downloaded 600 videos and 29,000 images of “child erotica”, showing some “sadistic and masochistic” behaviours. Some of the victims involved were as young as just two years old.
“He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother” Mr. Proctor added to his statement. “The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected.”
Clearly Mark Salling was a very sick person, and couldn’t face up to his crimes, so therefore took his life by hanging himself before sentencing.
<Story by Emily Clark>
Featured Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times