The death of Glee star Mark Salling, who played badboy noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman, might mean that his victims don’t receive the compensation he agreed to pay out
Salling, 35, died from suicide on Tuesday morning after being found guilty of possessing over 50,000 images of child sex abuse. He pleaded guilty and accepted a deal late last year and was due to be sentenced next month. Part of his plea deal meant that he was to be handed a reduced prison sentence and had agreed to pay restitution of approximately $50,000 to any victim who came forward. It’s understood that authorities are aware of the identities of some of the victims, but were relying on others to self-identify.
Mark’s death has caused the plea deal to fall through because it was before the official sentencing of the judge, so the agreed payments are not binding. This means that to receive the compensation they are owed, victims will be forced to sue Salling's estate. The actor has starred in all six seasons of hit musical TV show Glee and released two studio albums, his fortune is estimated to be around $1.97m. The main issue the case raises is the fact that in some of the child sex abuse images that were discovered, the victims were as young as three and may well be unaware they were featured in the photographs.
Salling pleaded guilty to paedophilia last year and was nearing his March sentencing date, where he was expected to face between four and seven years in prison. He would have also been required to register as a sex offender. Tributes were led by his co-stars Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch. The official statement from his lawyer, Michael J. Proctor, was featured in Entertainment Weekly earlier this week.
“I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning... 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. He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother. The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected”.