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Drake Bell faces prison time after pleading guilty to to felony endangerment charge


Drake Bell faces prison time after pleading guilty to charges over incident at club involving girl, 15, he’d been sending ‘inappropriate social media messages’

  • The former Nickelodeon star pleaded guilty to charges relating to a girl he met online and attended one of his concerts in Cleveland in 2017 when she was 15
  • Bell pleaded guilty via Zoom to felony attempted child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles 
  • One charge could carry ‘anywhere from six to 18 months in prison’ while the second charge carries up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
  • His defense attorney, Ian Friedman, said it will be revealed ‘why Mr. Bell chose to enter today’s plea’ at sentencing on July 12

Drake Bell, the former star of the popular Nickelodeon show Drake & Josh, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges relating to a girl who met him online and attended one of his concerts in Cleveland in 2017, when she was 15.

Jared ‘Drake’ Bell, 34, of West Hollywood, California, pleaded guilty via Zoom to felony attempted child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Sentencing is scheduled for July 12 in Cleveland.

Defense attorney Ian Friedman said Wednesday that he could not comment on the case but said it will be revealed at sentencing ‘why Mr. Bell chose to enter today’s plea.’

Bell had initially pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this month, but accepted a plea deal before the virtual court appearance.

‘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 judge stated.

PEOPLE reported that the judge informed Bell that ‘attempted endangering children carries a sentence of anywhere from six to 18 months in prison in monthly increments and/or a fine of up to $5,000, though prison time is not mandatory. The second charge carries up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.’

Legal issues: Jared 'Drake' Bell, 34, of West Hollywood, California, pleaded guilty via Zoom to felony attempted child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Sentencing is scheduled for July 12 in Cleveland

Legal issues: Jared ‘Drake’ Bell, 34, of West Hollywood, California, pleaded guilty via Zoom to felony attempted child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Sentencing is scheduled for July 12 in Cleveland

'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 judge stated

‘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 judge stated

Tyler Sinclair, a spokesperson for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, said at the time that the girl contacted Toronto police in October 2018. Toronto authorities then contacted Cleveland police, prompting an investigation.

The attempted endangering children charge relates to the concert, Sinclair said, where Bell ‘violated his duty of care’ and created a risk of harm to the victim. Sinclair didn´t elaborate further.

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Bell and the girl had ‘developed a relationship’ online several years prior to the concert, Sinclair said. The disseminating harmful material charge concerns Bell having sent the girl ‘inappropriate social media messages,’ Sinclair said.

Decisions: Bell had initially pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this month, but accepted a plea deal before the virtual court appearance

Decisions: Bell had initially pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this month, but accepted a plea deal before the virtual court appearance

This June 3, 2021 photo provided by Cuyahoga County Sheriffs Office shows Jared Bell. Bell is charged with attempted endangering children and a misdemeanor child pornography charge involving a 15-year-old girl, according to court records. (Cuyahoga County Sheriffs Office via AP)

This June 3, 2021 photo provided by Cuyahoga County Sheriffs Office shows Jared Bell. Bell is charged with attempted endangering children and a misdemeanor child pornography charge involving a 15-year-old girl, according to court records. (Cuyahoga County Sheriffs Office via AP)

Bell, also a singer, began acting as a child, but was catapulted to stardom as a teen with Nickelodeon’s The Amanda Show and later Drake & Josh, which debuted on the channel in January 2004. 

The final episode aired in September 2007. Bell and co-star Josh Beck also starred in two Drake & Josh movies.



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