Drake Bell, renowned for his role in the TV sitcom “Drake and Josh,” pleaded guilty to charges relating to endangering children and distributing harmful matter to adolescents, as confirmed by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office in Ohio.
The actor had initially not pleaded guilty to the charges. These charges are an outcome of the incidents in Cleveland in 2017. According to Bell’s attorney, Ian Friedman, every question will be answered at the sentencing, including “why Mr. Bell chose to enter today’s plea.”
A statement filed by prosecutors indicates that a 15-year-old girl had filed a report with the local police department in Canada, back in 2018. The report contained a detailed account of an incident, which purportedly took place between her and Bell during a visit to the Cleveland nightclub.
When Canadian officials initiated contact with the Cleveland Division of Police, a probe was made into the claims put forward by the girl. The results of the investigation revealed that the victim, a 15-year-old girl, had a history of a failed relationship with Drake Bell several years prior and later attended his concert in December 2017.
According to the claims made by the teenager, Drake Bell had “violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim,” affirmed the prosecutor’s office. Moreover, the investigation also concluded that Bell had sent several sexually inappropriate messages to the victim in the months before the concert.
Although an exact sentence duration is yet to be confirmed, it is suspected that the 34-year-old actor may have to spend at least two years in prison. Additionally, the judge has told Bell that if he does serve the period in prison, his activities may be restricted for up to three years after release. Drake Bell’s sentencing hearing is scheduled to take place on July 12.
Drake Bell rose to fame by essaying the role of Josh Peck’s stepbrother in the sitcom “Drake and Josh,” which aired on Nickelodeon from 2004 to 2007. The show encompassed the life of two stepbrothers and their family, who lived under one roof despite being opposites.