The former ‘Glee’ star was awaiting sentencing after having Pleaded Guilty to possession of child pornography when he took his own life at the age of 35 last month.
And after prosecutors moved to have his case – in which he agreed to pay $50,000 to each victim who submitted a formal restitution request – dropped in the wake of his passing, it has now been confirmed that the judge has agreed to dismiss.
Court documents obtained by The Blast state: “For good cause show, it is hereby ordered that:
“The government’s motion to dismiss the indictment pursuant to Rule 48 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure is granted. The indictment in the above referenced case is dismissed without prejudice.”
It comes after federal prosecutors asked to have the case dismissed, which would render any compensation agreements void.
Former prosecutor Mann Medrano told Buzzfeed: “If that person dies accidentally or by suicide, the government can no longer proceed. Essentially, no defendant, no criminal prosecution.”
Salling – famous for playing bad boy Puck in hit musical TV show ‘Glee’ – pleaded guilty in October last year to using software to mask his IP address and downloading thousands of graphic images of children. He was due to be sentenced six weeks after he took his own life.
A family source previously revealed he had attempted to take his own life in August, and that he had later told the judge at his trial he was taking medication for depression after the incident.
The family released a statement following his death which read: “I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning. 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 judgement. 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.”