Drake Bell, former star of the Nickelodeon series Drake & Josh, pleads guilty to child endangerment charges after being arrested earlier this month.
Drake Bell, the former star of the hit Nickelodeon series, Drake & Josh, pled guilty to child endangerment charges. Bell began his career at the age of five with an appearance on the 1990s ABC sitcom Home Improvement starring Tim Allen. Bell’s first starring role came on another hit Nickelodeon series created by Dan Schneider, The Amanda Show, alongside Amanda Bynes and Josh Peck. After the variety show ended, Bell went on to star in Drake & Josh alongside Peck and iCarly‘s Miranda Cosgrove. Bell’s Nickelodeon credits also include the trilogy of Fairly OddParents movies.
Over its four-season run, Drake & Josh followed the titular stepbrothers who often clashed with one another due to their opposite personalities. The series was one of Nickelodeon’s highest-rated programs, averaging about three million viewers per episode, and even spawned three movies made for television. In addition to acting, Bell has enjoyed a successful career as a musician, making numerous appearances on The Amanda Show with his band “Drake 24/7.” He also wrote and performed Drake & Josh’s recognizable theme song, titled “Found a Way.”
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According to Variety, Bell pled guilty on Wednesday to a felony charge of child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating harmful matter to a juvenile. Bell could face a $5000 fine and up to 18 months in prison for the felony charge, and an additional $1000 fine and up to six months in county jail for the misdemeanor charge. The actor could then face three years of post-release control, or supervision, following the potential prison term. Bell appeared at the pretrial hearing in Cuyahoga County, Ohio via Zoom.
This news comes after reports that Bell was arrested by Cleveland police earlier this month. Immediately following his arrest, Bell plead not guilty in the same court and was then freed on $2,500 bail under the condition that he has no contact with the victim. These charges actually stem from an incident that occurred in 2017 between Bell and a 15-year-old girl at a Cleveland nightclub called The Odeon, where Bell was performing.
While police have not released much specific information about the incident, they have said there were months of social media messages between Bell and the victim which were “at times … sexual in nature.” While the incident occurred in 2017, Bell was not indicted until this year. The victim will have the chance to provide a statement to the court before sentencing takes place. While he has not been in the public eye much since Drake & Josh ended, these recent developments could effectively spell the end of Bell’s career as an actor.
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