‘Drake and Josh’ star pleads guilty to Ohio charges of crimes against a child

Entertainment

FILE – Drake Bell arrives at the iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 14, 2019, in Los Angeles. Bell, one of stars of the popular Nickelodeon children’s show “Drake & Josh,” faces criminal charges regarding a girl he had met online and who attended a 2017 concert of his in Cleveland when she was 15. The 34-year-old actor pleaded not guilty Thursday, June 3, 2021, to felony attempted endangering children and misdemeanor disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (ABC4) – Jared Bell, known for playing Drake in the Nickelodeon TV show “Drake and Josh,” has pleaded guilty to two charges related to crimes against a child in an Ohio court.

Court documents show the 34-year-old was charged in early June with attempted endangering children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. ABC4 affiliate WJW reports court documents indicate Bell allegedly engaged in an inappropriate chat with the victim that, at times, was sexual in nature.

Prosecutors say the alleged victim, a 15-year-old girl, filed a report with her local police in Canada in October 2018, nearly a year after an incident involving Bell occurred during a December 2017 concert in Cleveland.

Cleveland Police were notified and conducted an investigation, which revealed the victim had established a relationship with Bell several years prior. She attended the December concert, where “Bell violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim.” Additionally, investigators found Bell sent the teenager inappropriate social media messages in the months leading up to the concert.

On Wednesday, Bell entered guilty pleas to the above charges. According to WJW, Bell is scheduled to be sentenced on July 12.

After “Drake and Josh” ended in 2007, Bell went on to appear in shows and movies like “A Fairly Odd Summer,” “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.,” and “Victorious,” according to IMDb. He also worked as a voice actor and released multiple albums that he went on tour with.

In 2015, ABC News reports Bell was arrested for suspicion of DUI in California. In 2016, E! News reports Bell served one day of his four-day sentence and was released following his second DUI conviction.

Last summer, Bell’s ex-girlfriend, Melissa Lingafelt, accused him of verbally and physically abusing her while they were dating for about two and a half years, starting in 2006, according to the L.A. Times.

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