Drake Bell, most commonly known for his role in one of the most beloved sitcoms of the 2000s, Drake & Josh, pleaded guilty to a child endangerment case on a Zoom trial this Wednesday, where Bell’s sentencing was set for July 12.
In early June of this year, the ex-Nickelodeon star pleaded not guilty as he was first charged. Jared Drake Bell was let go on a $2,500 fine and the judge ordered him to not have any contact with the 15-year-old victim. On Wednesday 23, he entered his plea to the Cuyahoga County court via Zoom.
The sentence is set to happen in July 12th in Cleveland. The actor and singer could be facing 18 months of prison and a $5,000 fine and up to 6 months in county jail and a $1,000 fine.
The initial incident took place in December 2017, as the then 31-year-old Bell met a 15-year-old Canadian girl in a Cleveland nightclub, Odeon Concert Club, where Bell was performing a concert. In October 2018, the 15-year-old filed a report in a Canadian police department about the incident.
The Canadian police later contacted the Cleveland police with the information, and the latter began an investigation. The events of that night have not been fully disclosed by neither the police nor Bell.
Bell now pleaded guilty to two charges against the minor: charges of attempted endangering of children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
“That investigation revealed that the 15-year-old victim, who had established a relationship with Bell several years prior, attended his concert in December 2017,” a public information officer with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, Tyler Sinclair, revealed to CBS News. “While there, Bell violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim.”
Reportedly, he had met the 15-year-old online and sent her ‘inappropriate social media messages’ for months prior to the concert. According to Variety, the messaging was “at times … sexual in nature.”