Mark Salling’s Child Pornography Case Dismissed in Wake of His Suicide
Mark Salling was just over a month away from his sentencing after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography when he committed suicide. Now, a week after his death, the entire case has been dismissed.
The Blast obtained a legal document in which United States District Judge Otis D. Wright signed off on the United States Attorney’s request for dismissal, which was filed on Monday. The doc stated:
“For good cause shown, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT: The government’s motion to dismiss the indictment pursuant to Rule 48 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure is GRANTED. The indictment in the above referenced case is dismissed without prejudice.”
As we mentioned, the U.S. Attorney filed this request on Monday and cited the 35-year-old’s death as a reason it should be granted.
“While the government has not reviewed official documentation, it has been reliably informed and believes that defendant Salling is deceased,” a footnote in the motion stated.
Because the judge dismissed the case “without prejudice,” it is possible for the U.S. Attorney to file it again in the future. But in the meantime, the real people suffering from this decision are the victims, who Mark was originally ordered to pay $50,000 each in restitution.
“As for the victims…some of the child pornography was created — meaning it was filmed — in Britain, but I cannot provide you with any specific information about the victims in this case,” Thom Mrozek, a spokesperson for the United States Attorney’s Office, said before the dismissal was granted. “Because Salling’s case will likely be dismissed soon, the victims in that case will not be entitled to restitution. I can tell you that some of the victims have successfully sought restitution in other criminal cases.”
The Glee alum was arrested for possession of child pornography in late December 2015. According to court docs, he used his home computer to “download thousands of images of child pornography” from April 2015 through the time of his arrest. He allegedly tried to go undetected by police by using a software that hides his IP address, but he showed some of the pictures to an adult female on two occasions and she subsequently reported him.
When cops searched his house, they found 50,000 images and videos of child pornography on his laptop and 4,000 photos on a flash drive.