Faces a minimum of five years behind bars if found guilty
Mark Salling, best known for playing a bad-boy footballer in the hit television series Glee, has been indicted on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography.
He was arrested at his home in Los Angeles in December, after a tip off to police. During a search of the premises a laptop, a hard drive and a USB flash drive that contained thousands of pornographic images and videos depicting the abuse of young girls, were found.
Saling, who played Noah Puckerman from start to the finish on the musical series, was released on a $20,000 bail bond. When authorities realised the "scope of the collection", the case was handed over to federal prosecutors and the 33-year old now faces a possible 40-year prison term if found guilty of both charges.
"The traditional stereotype about the kinds of people who commit child sexual exploitation crimes simply doesn't dovetail with reality," Joseph Macias, a special agent in charge for the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement announcing the charges.
Prosecutors said investigators are continuing to review the material seized.