January 30, 2018 / 7:53 PM / in 6 months

'Glee' actor Mark Salling, 35, dies before child pornography sentencing

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Mark Salling, an actor who played a supporting role in the TV show “Glee,” has died at age 35, his attorney said on Tuesday, weeks before his March sentencing on child pornography charges.

Salling’s attorney, Michael Proctor, confirmed the death but would not comment on a report on celebrity website TMZ that said law enforcement sources called it an apparent suicide in Los Angeles. Proctor also did not immediately provide the cause of death.

“I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning,” Proctor said in a statement.

Police and the Los Angeles County coroner’s office confirmed that a body had been found in Los Angeles but would not immediately identify it.

Salling was arrested in 2015 after he showed child pornography on his computer to a girlfriend and she reported it to police, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Salling pleaded guilty on Dec. 18 to a federal charge of possessing child pornography, admitting he had downloaded 25,000 sexual images of children onto his computer from the Internet.

He was allowed to remain free as his case was heard, and was scheduled to appear in court on March 7 for sentencing.

Salling faced a sentence of between four to seven years in prison under the plea agreement he reached with prosecutors, the Justice Department said in December.

From 2009 to 2015, Salling appeared in “Glee,” an award-winning show on Fox. He played Puck, a bully and a football player who showed a softer side when he joined the glee club at his high school.

“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 judgment,” Proctor said.

FILE PHOTO: Actor Mark Salling from the television show 'Glee' arrives at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 6, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by David Gregorio

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