Drake Bell of ‘Drake and Josh’ pleads guilty to charges of crimes against child

Entertainment

NEW YORK CITY, NY – FEBRUARY 07: Drake Bell attends the The 3rd Annual Blue Jacket Fashion Show Benefitting The Prostate Cancer Foundation at Pier 59 Studios on February 7, 2019 in New York City, NY. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for Blue Jacket)

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) — Jared Drake Bell, who played Drake in the popular Nickelodeon TV show “Drake and Josh” plead guilty Wednesday on multiple charges related to crimes against a child.

Prosecutors say the alleged victim, 15, filed a report with a local police department in Canada in 2018 regarding an incident involving Bell that allegedly happened in Cleveland on December 1, 2017.

Jared Bell.

Bell, who also goes by Drake Campana, tweeted in October 2017 that he was scheduled to play Cleveland’s The Odeon Concert Club on December 1, 2017.

The tweet was deleted the same day the arrest went public.

Bell, now 34, entered guilty pleas Wednesday to attempted endangering children, which is a fourth-degree felony and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, which is a first-degree misdemeanor.

“If you plead guilty, that is an admission that you did commit these crimes,” said Judge Timothy McCormick to Bell via Zoom.

NewsNation affiliate WJW learned that several years prior to the alleged incident, Bell and the child had established a relationship.

The investigation revealed that months leading up to the concert, Bell allegedly sent the victim inappropriate social media messages. 

However, on December 1, 2017, the prosecutor’s office says at that concert, “Bell violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim.”

Canadian authorities contacted Cleveland law enforcement after the 15-year-old came forward.

The Cleveland Division of Police investigated the allegations, which led to the charges.

Bell had been out on $2,500 personal bond since his arraignment on June 3.

Bell was asked to submit DNA, which is a standard practice in Ohio. Sentencing is scheduled for July 12 at 12 p.m. The victim will provide a statement at that time.

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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