Mark Salling Suicide Cheats Victims in Child Porn Case

1/31/2018 12:50 AM PST

Mark Salling's Victims Have to Fight For Restitution

EXCLUSIVE

Mark Salling's suicide isn't just a tragic ending for him and his family, but it also screws over the victims in his child porn case ... TMZ has learned.

Under Salling's plea deal, the former "Glee" star agreed to pay victims $50k each in restitution. In order to impose such a penalty, the judge must first sentence the defendant. Salling's sentencing was scheduled for March but since he hanged himself prior to the sentencing ... the plea deal was not complete and the judge lost the power to order payment to the victims.

There is a saving grace. The victims could sue Salling's estate for damages they suffered from his transgressions. 

As we reported ... Salling pled guilty to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor in December, and was facing 4 to 7 years in prison with 20 years of supervised release as part of his plea bargain.