'Glee' star Salling pleads not guilty in child porn case
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An actor who starred on the musical dramedy "Glee" pleaded not guilty to federal pornography charges Friday and had his internet usage and travel severely restricted.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Rozella A. Oliver ruled Mark Salling can be released after he posts $150,000 bail, including $100,000 of his own money to guarantee future court appearances. Salling, 33, answered several questions from the judge and entered the not guilty during his court appearance, which also resulted in a July trial date being set.
Salling, who played bad-boy Noah "Puck" Puckerman on the Fox musical dramedy, was charged last week with two counts receiving and possessing child pornography after a grand jury indicted him last week. U.S. Attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek said investigators found an extensive, carefully organized collection of child pornography during searches of Salling's electronic devices.
Prosecutors initially sought to have Salling held without bail, but reached an agreement with the actor's attorneys to allow bail to be posted. Salling's attorney Alan Eisner surrendered Salling's passport during Friday's hearing.
Salling's internet-connected devices must now be approved by federal authorities, he will have to wear a location monitoring bracelet and submit to drug testing as conditions of his release, Oliver said.
Eisner declined comment after the hearing and Salling did not speak as he left the courthouse.
Salling was arrested at his home last December after Los Angeles police officers and federal agents seized a laptop, hard drive and flash drive they say contained images and videos depicting child pornography.
He 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 other child porn videos that also featured young girls.
If convicted, he could face as much as 20 years in prison on each of the charges.
The actor is best known for his long-running role on "Glee," which aired from 2009 to 2015. He also released an album, "Pipe Dreams," in 2010.
He shared a Screen Actors Guild award with the "Glee" cast in 2010 when the show was honored for outstanding TV comedy ensemble.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP