A history of Mark Salling's troubled and criminal past
News broke today, January 30th, that actor Mark Salling has died of an apparent suicide. TMZ reports that sources indicate Salling hanged himself, though this has not yet been officially confirmed by police. Salling’s body was allegedly found by the LAPD at 8:50 a.m. local time at a baseball field near his home in California, and sources have told TMZ that it appeared as though Salling had been “dead for some time.”
While many know Salling best for his role as “Puck” on the hit Fox show Glee, which ran from 2009 to 2015, he made news more recently for charges of possession of child pornography. He was arrested in 2015 and struck a plea bargain in December 2017. Salling was scheduled to be sentenced in March 2018, and expected to receive four to seven years in prison.
However, that was not Salling’s first brush with the law. In fact, he had been accused of both battery and rape in the past, though no charges were ultimately filed. Here is what we know of Salling’s history with violence and abuse.
1A former girlfriend sued him for sexual battery.
According to People.com, Salling’s ex-girlfriend Roxanne Gorzela “sued him for sexual battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence,” as well as “forcing her to have unprotected sex with him” in 2013 (though she alleged the events happened in 2011). Gorzela also said that Salling once pushed her to the ground during a fight, causing her to hurt her head. She eventually dropped the charges after Salling agreed to settle the incident outside of court, paying her $2.7 million.
2A former girlfriend accused Salling of rape in 2016.
In 2016, a woman came forward to the LAPD and stated that Salling had raped her in 2012. She said she finally had the courage to come forward after his arrest for child pornography, stating that he took her into a room to have intercourse and refused to stop after she clearly told him she had changed her mind. Authorities ultimately did not have enough evidence to file charges, though the district attorney noted that the victim seemed entirely credible — there was just not enough material evidence to go to court at the time.
3He was a registered sex offender.
Though not yet in prison, Stalling had to register as a sex offender after he was caught with child pornography, meaning he was not permitted to communicate with anyone under the age of 18, had to remain 100 feet from any public space that may contain children, such as schools, parks, and pools, and had to pay $50,000 to each of his victims.
4His ex-girlfriend initially turned him in.
Stalling was ultimately caught in 2015 after his then-girlfriend found thousands of images of prepubescent children on his laptop. She reported him to the police, and investigators eventually found thousands more images and videos on a laptop, hard drive, and flash drive.
Salling is survived by several family members, with his attorney Michael Proctor telling People.com that, “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.”
Further details about his death have yet to be released by authorities.