Drake Bell has agreed to a plea deal following his shocking arrest.
As we reported, the former Nickelodeon star was cuffed and charged in Cleveland with attempted endangering children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles earlier this month. The charges stemmed from an incident on December 1, 2017, when Bell allegedly engaged in an inappropriate chat with a 15-year-old girl that was at times sexual in nature.
The Drake & Josh alum — who recently rebranded himself as Drake Campana — initially pleaded not guilty. However, during a virtual hearing on Wednesday, he agreed to a plea deal and said he was guilty of both charges.
Later in the hearing, the judge told the 34-year-old that attempted endangering children carries a sentence of anywhere from six to 18 months in prison in monthly increments and/or a fine of up to $5,000 (though prison time is not mandatory), while the second charge carries up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. The judge explained:
“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. If you were to violate those restrictions, you can be returned to prison, up to a maximum of one half of your original sentence.”
The actor and singer’s sentencing hearing is set for July 12, at which time his lawyers will explain why he chose to enter his plea, Bell’s lawyer Ian Friedman told People. During this hearing, Bell’s alleged victim will be able to read out a victim statement if she wishes to.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley’s spokesperson Tyler Sinclair told ABC News that the alleged victim filed a complaint with Canadian police in October 2018. Canadian police contacted Cleveland police, sparking an investigation.
The attempted endangering children charge reportedly relates to the 2017 concert on said date (up above), where Bell “violated his duty of care,” Sinclair said, and created a risk of harm to the then-15-year-old. Sinclair said the girl and Drake had “developed a relationship” online several years before the concert, and that the disseminating harmful material charge concerns Bell having sent the girl “inappropriate social media messages.”
The arrest comes nearly a year after Drake’s ex-girlfriend accused him of disturbing behavior. As we covered last August, his ex Melissa Lingafelt accused the former child star of verbal and physical abuse in a series of emotional TikTok videos, saying:
“And when I say verbal abuse, imagine the worst type of verbal abuse you could ever imagine, and that was what I got. It then turned to physical — hitting, throwing, everything. At the pinnacle of it, he drug me down the stairs of our house on Los Feliz. My face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this.”
She also alleged he had cheated on her with underage girls, and went on to share messages from other women which seemed to back that claim.
Only time will tell if more alleged victims come forward, but it’s certainly not looking good for the singer.
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