In a court hearing Wednesday morning (June 23), former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell pled guilty to a pair of charges stemming from an incident that occurred in December 2017.
The 34-year-old actor is widely known for his run on the popular teen series, Drake & Josh. In early June, he was arrested in Cleveland and charged with attempted child endangerment and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Bell previously pled not guilty, but reversed course, acknowledging guilt during today’s virtual court appearance.
“My understanding is there’s been a plea agreement reached where the defendant will plead guilty to count one attempted endangering children, a felony in the fourth degree [and] plead guilty to count two: disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a misdemeanor the first degree,” the judge said.
The child endangerment charge carries a maximum sentence of anywhere between six to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. For disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, he faces a sentence of up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
“However, if you go to prison, upon your release, you could be subjected to a discretionary period of three years post-release control. Post-release control could involve restrictions on your activities,” the judge continued. “If you were to violate those restrictions, you can be returned to prison, [for] up to a maximum of one half of your original sentence.”
A Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office Spokesperson said an incident between Bell and a 15-year-old took place Dec. 1, 2017, when he was performing at a concert in Cleveland. The girl, now an adult, informed Toronto police in 2018. Officials shared their findings with Cleveland police and an investigation began.
The sentencing hearing is set for July 12 in Cleveland.
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