Drake Bell, former star of Nickelodeon children’s shows, pleads guilty to incident involving a 15-year-old girl
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Former Nickelodeon Jared “Drake” Bell pleaded guilty Wednesday to crimes involving a minor.
Bell is best known for starring in the show “Drake & Josh” that aired on Nick from 2004 to 2007.
The 34-year-old actor appeared virtually via Zoom in Cuyahoga County court to make his plea.
Bell entered a guilty plea to two charges, which include attempted child endangerment and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
The charges stem from an incident in Cleveland involving a 15-year-old Canadian girl. It happened in December 2017, while Bell was in town for a concert.
Cleveland police said the girl attended the concert at the Odeon Concert Club, and that Bell “violated his duty of care” while she was there.
Prosecutors said the teen filed a complaint with Canadian police, who then contacted Cleveland detectives.
Police said Bell and the victim developed a relationship years prior to the incident. And months before the concert, police said Bell sent the victim inappropriate messages on social media.
Attempted child endangerment is a fourth-degree felony. It carries a maximum sentence of anywhere between six to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Disseminating matter harmful to juveniles is a first-degree misdemeanor. It carries a max sentence of six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Judge Timothy McCormick told Bell that prison time is not mandatory, but if he does go to prison he’d be subjected to a discretionary period of three years post-release control after he’s released.
19 News caught up with Bell’s attorney after the hearing, but he wouldn’t say much.
“All we have to say today is that all questions will be answered at the time of sentencing,” said Ian Friedman.
Bell’s sentencing is set for July 12. At that time, the victim may provide a victim impact statement.
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