Drake Bell, the previous star of the favored Nickelodeon show “Drake & Josh,” pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges concerning a woman who met him online and attended one among 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 couldn’t discuss the case but said it’ll be revealed at sentencing “why Mr. Bell chose to enter today’s plea.” Bell had initially pleaded acquitted to the fees earlier this month. 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.
Bell and therefore the girl had “developed a relationship” online several years before the concert, Sinclair said. The disseminating harmful material charge concerns Bell having sent the girl “inappropriate social media messages,” Sinclair said. The sentencing range is probation to 2 years in prison. The girl, who is now an adult, is going to be allowed to offer a victim impact statement at the sentencing.
Sinclair declined to comment about the case Wednesday. Bell, also a singer, began acting as a toddler, but was catapulted to stardom as a teenager with Nickelodeon’s “The Amanda Show” and later “Drake & Josh,” which debuted on the channel in January 2004. the ultimate episode aired in September 2007. Bell and co-star Josh Peck also starred in two “Drake & Josh” movies.