Drake Bell Pleads Not Guilty to Attempted Child Endangerment
Drake Bell from Drake & Josh has pleaded not guilty after being indicted for a 2017 incident in which he allegedly attempted to endanger an underage teenage girl.
The 34-year-old former Nickelodeon star and musician, whose legal name is Jared Drake Bell, was detained by police in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday, June 3 and later released after posting a $2,500 bond, according to court records obtained by E! News. At his arraignment that day at Cuyahoga County Court, he pleaded not guilty after being indicted on one count of attempted endangering children, a fourth-degree felony, and one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a first-degree misdemeanor, a Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson told E! News on Friday, June 4.
In his indictment, filed on May 21 and obtained by E! News, Bell was accused of committing the alleged crimes on or around Dec. 1, 2017 against a 15-year-old girl at a Cleveland nightclub. The prosecutor’s office spokesperson told E! News that a police investigation “revealed that the victim, who had established a relationship with Bell several years prior, attended his concert in December 2017. While there, Bell violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim. The investigation also revealed that months leading up to the concert, Bell sent the victim inappropriate social media messages.”
Bell posted on Twitter in October 2017 that he was set to perform on Dec. 1 of that year at a Cleveland nightclub, which is located on the same street as the venue decribed in the indictment, local TV station FOX 8 News reported. His tweet has since been deleted.
Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, Cleveland, Ohio
The prosecutor’s office spokesperson told E! News that the alleged victim filed a report about the incident with her local police department in Canada in October 2018 and that Canadian authorities contacted the Cleveland Division of Police, who then launched their recent inquiry.
FOX 8 News reported that Bell has agreed to have no contact with the alleged victim and was asked to submit DNA, which is a standard practice in Ohio.
Cleveland Police released a booking photo of Bell, showing him wearing a black suit. A remote pre-trial conference has been scheduled for June 23.
Robin L Marshall/Getty Images
Bell’s attorney Ian Friedman told McClatchy News through a spokesperson that “the facts will be revealed in the court room.” He declined to comment about the case when reached by E! News.
Bell rose to fame in the early ’00s with parts in the Nickelodeon comedy sketch show The Amanda Show starring Amanda Bynes and later, the sitcom Drake & Josh, which also starred Josh Peck from the previous series, as well as Miranda Cosgrove. The latter show aired from 2004 to 2007 and spurred three spinoff TV movies.
In recent years, Drake has concentrated on both music and acting. He has performed voice work for animated films and TV shows, such as Ultimate Spider-Man, and also competed on the reality shows Splash, Cupcake Wars and The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars.