After pleading guilty to child endangerment last month, Drake Bell has now been sentenced to two years of probation. The charges were filed against Bell due to his contact with a fifteen year old girl who attended one of his Cleveland concerts. The judge also ordered Drake Bell to 200 hours of community service. He must now register as a sex offender, and is not allowed to have any contact with the victim in the case.
Drake Bell, star of Nickelodeon's series Drake & Josh, appeared at a pretrial hearing via Zoom this past June, where he pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to endanger children as well as a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. The star found himself facing up to a total of 24 months prison time and a $6000 fine between the two offences. Drake Bell is looking at three years of "post-release control". Bell Had this to say about his guilty plea.
"Today I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong. I'm sorry that the victim was harmed in any way - that was obviously not my intention. I have taken this matter very very seriously, and again I just want to apologize to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions."
Bell began his career in the 90s, with his first acting role being at the age of five in Home Improvement. He is best known for his Nickelodeon shows, The Amanda Show and Drake & Josh, as well as being the voice of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series on Disney XD. In addition to acting, he has also dabbled in a music career, performing the Drake & Josh theme song as well as releasing three albums, the last of which was Ready Steady Go! in 2014, which landed at #182 in the Billboard 200.
The criminal charges brought against Bell relate to an incident in 2017, which occurred between the 31-at-the-time Bell and a 15 year old girl on a day that Bell was listed to perform at Cleveland club The Odeon. The pair are said to have met at the club that day, although police have not released details of exactly what is claimed to have happened, other than the meeting being the result of an on-going communication by the pair via social media which at times were "sexual in nature."
Bell was arrested on the June 3rd by Cleveland Police. He initially pleaded not guilty in the County Court and was released on $2500 bail, being ordered to have no contact with the victim. Since that hearing, Bell agreed to a plea deal in his previous court appearance, which lead to today's sentencing.
The judge on the case said, "My understanding is there's been a plea agreement reached where the defendant will plead guilty to count one attempted endangering children, a felony in the fourth degree [and] plead guilty to count two: disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a misdemeanor the first degree."
The star was then told of his potential sentences, and the judge continued, "However, if you go to prison, upon your release, you could be subjected to a discretionary period of three years post-release control. Post-release control could involve restrictions on your activities," the judge said. "If you were to violate those restrictions, you can be returned to prison, [for] up to a maximum of one half of your original sentence."
The actor was asked if he understood the charges and the potential penalties, to which he answered that he did. His sentencing happened today, July 12th, which included his victim reading out her victim statement. The woman, who is now 19, had this to say about her contact with Drake Bell.
"The pain that the defendant has caused me is indescribable, and it worsens every day," the woman, now 19, said. "Being used by somebody who meant the world to me has left me feeling more hurt than I have ever been before."
The woman went onto call Drake Bell a pedophile, and accused the singer-actor of sending her X-rated photographs and engaging in inappropriate sexual contact on two separate occasions. Drake Bell's lawyer denied all of these allegations. Investigators did say that Bell had sent the teen "inappropriate social media messages."