Drake Bell of ‘Drake and Josh’ sentenced to two years probation on charges for crimes against a child

Entertainment

Jared Bell

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) —  Jared Drake Bell, who played Drake in the Nickelodeon TV show “Drake and Josh” was sentenced to two years probation Monday on multiple charges related to crimes against a child.

The judge also sentenced him to 200 hours of community service, all of it served in California. 

Bell, 35, pled guilty on June 23 to attempted child endangering, which is a 4th-degree felony, and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, which is a 1st-degree misdemeanor.

His sentencing range was up to two years in prison.

The charges stem from an incident in Cleveland on December 1, 2017 when Bell was scheduled to play the Odeon Concert Club. A 15-year-old girl filed a police report in Canada in 2018 regarding a situation with Bell she says happened that night.

She spoke in court via Zoom during the sentencing hearing.

“I’m going to reveal all of the crimes he has committed against me,” she said.

According to the victim who is now 19, she had maintained a relationship with Bell since she was 12-years-old.

“He was a hero to me. I would have done anything for him,” she said.

She says they maintained a relationship online.

She says when she was 15, the messages were “blatantly sexual.”

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.”

The teen says Bell forced her to perform sexual acts backstage at the concert and again at a hotel room in Cleveland.

“He is a monster and a danger to children,” she said.

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.

“He is sorry he’s finally been caught. He committed these crimes with pride,” she said.

“Jared Drake Bell is a pedophile and this is his legacy,” she ended.

Bell had been out on a $2,500 personal bond since his arraignment on June 3. Bell was asked to submit DNA, which is a standard practice in Ohio.

Bell’s defense attorney claimed Drake did not know how old the teen was, but that he learned her age at a later time.

The defense attorney also said that the victim was upset because Drake became engaged to his now-wife.

The defense argued Bell had paid for his crimes by loss of employment.

The attorney also said what the victim claimed did not happen and those were not the charges to which Bell pleaded guilty.

“My conduct was wrong,” Bell said in remarks. “I’m sorry the victim was harmed in any way, but that was not my intention.”

“I want to apologize to her.”

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 Peck also starred in two “Drake & Josh” movies.

Since then, Bell has done voiceover work and released multiple musical albums. He has performed under the name Drake Campana in his music career.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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