Actor pleaded guilty to child endangerment and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles in June
Drake & Josh star Drake Bell has been sentenced after pleading guilty to child endangerment.
In June, the former Nickelodeon star pleaded guilty to felony-attempted endangering of children, as well as a misdemeanour charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
On Monday (12 July), Bell’s sentence was revealed, with the former actor avoiding a jail sentence. Instead, an Ohio judge sentenced him to two years’ probation and 200 hours of community service.
Allegations against Bell were made by a 19-year-old woman, who reported the actor to police in 2018 claiming that he had groomed her since she was 12.
Calling Bell “the epitome of evil”, she claimed in court via Zoom that their conversations became “blatantly sexual” when she turned 15. She added that the pair exchanged explicit photos and Bell sexually abused her while she was underage.
“Jared Drake Bell is a paedophile and that is his legacy,” she concluded her statement.
Bell’s lawyers disputed claims of pictures being exchanged and sexual abuse, claiming that there was no evidence.
Delivering his sentence, judge Timothy McCormick said that “the fact of the matter is your position and celebrity status let you nurture this relationship… you were able to gain access to this child”.
Bell said: “I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong.
“I’m sorry that the victim was harmed in any way, but that was obviously not my intention. I have taken this matter very, very seriously. And again, I just want to apologise to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions.”
Bell starred in Drake & Josh, a Nickelodeon sitcom, between 2004 and 2007. He portrayed Drake Parker, while Josh Peck played Parker’s stepbrother Josh Nichols.