Mark Salling’s Child Porn Charges to be Dropped After Suicide

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Wenn

U.S. federal prosecutors are to drop the child pornography charges against Glee actor Mark Salling after his death from suicide.

Salling, 35, pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children in October (17), but his body was found last Tuesday (30Jan18) in a park near his home in Sunland, California. His death has been ruled a suicide by officials at the Los Angeles County medical examiner’s office.

Former prosecutor Manny Medrano told BuzzFeed News that the disgraced star’s suicide meant the case could no longer go ahead.

“If that person dies accidentally or by suicide, the government can no longer proceed,” he explained. “Essentially, no defendant, no criminal prosecution.”

Southern California litigator Tamar Arminak added that this was a standard policy to prevent prosecutors wasting time on cases in which a defendant could not be held responsible for their crimes.

“There is no need to be concerned with Mr. Salling answering for his crimes, or making sure someone who is a threat to the public is behind bars. The issue becomes moot.”

Salling was arrested after prosecutors found more than 50,000 images of child porn and child erotica on his laptop computer and a flash memory drive during a 2015 raid on his home.

His suicide could leave his victims in legal limbo over any compensation claims, as a financial restitution agreement he signed up to as part of his plea deal is no longer enforceable as it was not approved by a judge as part of his sentence before his death.

According to TMZ.com, if the agreement had been ratified his victims would have received $50,000 in compensation, but they must now file a civil complaint against his estate if they are to be awarded damages.

“It does make potential victims have to go through more hoops than if he had been sentenced and restitution was ordered as part of the sentencing,” criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos told BuzzFeed.

by WENN

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