Mark Salling’s Victims Left in Dark After his Death

By Grace Manzo, Staff Writer

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Mark Salling at The Cosmopolitan Grand Opening and New Year's Eve Celebration
Mark Salling at The Cosmopolitan Grand Opening and New Year’s Eve Celebration. Salling committed suicide on January 31st.
Photo courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas via Flickr

Mark Salling, who last year got convicted for obtaining pictures of child pornography, committed suicide on Jan. 30. Prior to his death, the court ordered him to compensate the victims for emotional damages.

However, since Salling was not sentenced before his death, the restitution order was not able to be put in place by the judge preceding the trial. The “Glee” star was 35 years old.

Last October the actor pleaded guilty to having child pornography, and the FBI found pictures on his laptop. During the search warrant, the FBI found more than 50,000 images on his laptop and thumb drive.

The actor was found hanging from the riverbed area in the Los Angeles neighborhood named Tujunga. Defense attorney Troy Slaten stated that even though Salling had passed, the victims are allowed to sue the late actor’s estate.

“Any victims can sue his estate in civil court and receive monetary awards for damages,” Slaten said. “These awards can be in the neighborhood of hundreds of thousands of dollars or even in the millions.”

This would be an easy lawsuit for the victims since Salling pleaded guilty during his trial.

I don’t want to be harsh on Salling, but I do think he took the easy way out. I cannot imagine the pain he was suffering. He knew he had a problem and was too embarrassed to face the world knowing it.

However, I especially feel bad for the victims. Not only will they be traumatized for the rest of their lives, but they will not even get their money in time. However, the money isn’t the issue. Maybe the real issue is that people have some weird, crazy obsessions.

Last year, my psychology professor explained that we do not know the full extent of how many people are into child pornography. We are unaware because clearly these predators, maybe, do not talk about it, and they have not been caught.

It is sick and frightening. What these people need is some strict advising. If they are committing the act, like taking pictures of children themselves or even just searching the internet, they need to stop. Both are unacceptable. I spoke with a fellow “Glee” fan to get her opinion on Salling’s sentencing.

“I definitely think that he should’ve gotten help, treatment or therapy of the sort, but I don’t think it’s fair that they were going to send him to prison” said a Bergen Community College student Daria Ahdout. “It’s not like he directly committed the act and stole kids, and what he did was wrong no doubt. I just don’t think prison would’ve solved his problem.”

Ahdout thinks the trial may have contributed to his suicide.

“It put a lot of pressure on him,” Ahdout said. “His fault was in front of the whole world. People were judging him. I wish he handled it differently.”

If you have a problem, face it. Salling in the beginning made the right move by pleading guilty, and he should have stayed during this trial.

If he stayed, perhaps his sentencing could have been different. He left the world without saying sorry to the families of the victims and without apologizing to his own family for embarrassing himself.

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