Drake Bell receives probation on child endangerment charge

Former star of the popular Nickelodeon show “Josh & Drake,” Drake Bell, was sentenced to two years’ probation on Monday in Cleveland. This comes after he was accused of sexual contact with a girl he met online, and charges relating to endangerment of a child.

Last month, Jared Drake, a 35-year-old from West Hollywood, California, pleaded guilty to the felony charges of attempting to endanger a child and the misdemeanor charge of disseminating harmful matter to juveniles via Zoom.

Judge Timothy McCormick in Cuyahoga County is permitting Bell to fulfill probation and complete 200 hours of community service in California.

Bell, through Zoom, briefly spoke prior to the imposition of a sentence.

“I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong,” Bell said. “I’m sorry the victim was harmed. It was not my intention.”.

Bell adored her because she felt trapped but uncomfortable with the remarks he made. She turned to him after he sent explicitly sexual messages and engaged in online chats. Initially, she felt protected and loved by him. She spoke at length about the damage Bell has done to her life. She is now 19 and is the victim of grooming.

The woman, who willingly displayed her face on Zoom, stated, “I was undoubtedly one of his most ardent supporters. I would have gone to great lengths for him.”

The Associated Press refrains from revealing individuals who allege to have encountered sexual abuse unless they choose to reveal their identities publicly.

Bell, who was also referred to as a “coward” and a “pedophile,” was said to have engaged in sexual misconduct with her at a hotel in Cleveland. The woman also stated that Bell and she had exchanged explicit photos online.

On Monday, Ian Friedman, the attorney representing Bell, challenged those allegations. He stated that there were no explicit photographs or sexual engagement between Bell and the victim, and the misconduct that did take place was evident in the charges Bell admitted to last month. Bell’s attorney, Friedman, did not specify the nature of the inappropriate behavior that Bell acknowledged.

Friedman said the victim attended nine of Bell’s concerts after the one in Cleveland. The woman responded by holding up three fingers.

“Mr. Bell has already faced a more severe penalty than others due to his position,” stated Friedman.

Prompted by an investigation, the Cleveland police forwarded their findings to the authorities in Toronto. In October 2018, the Toronto police contacted the victim and reported that the authorities had been informed.

The spokesperson for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, Sinclair Tyler, violated his duty of care and created a risk of harm to the victim by attempting to charge Bell with endangering children in relation to the concert.

Sinclair stated that Bell, who had sent the girl “inappropriate messages on social media,” is being charged with spreading harmful content. According to Sinclair, Bell and the girl had formed an online connection several years before the concert.

Pled was unable to focus on what he said, but he heard a lot of disturbing and serious allegations during Monday’s hearing, before delivering Bell’s sentence, McCormick said.

McCormick stated, “The reality is that this connection allows you to cultivate your position and fame.” “To this individual, you managed to obtain entry.”

Bell, who also started her acting career as a child, experienced a meteoric rise to fame as a teenager with Nickelodeon’s “The Amanda Show” and subsequently with “Drake & Josh,” which made its debut on the channel in January 2004. The last episode of the show aired in September 2007. Bell and her co-star Josh Peck also appeared in two movies based on “Drake & Josh.”