There was a time that if you had to predict which former Nickelodeon employee might end up on the wrong side of a child endangerment charge, Drake Bell might not have been your first guess. But then that all changed when Drake Bell was arrested and charged with a fourth-degree felony charge of attempting to endanger children and a first-degree misdemeanor charge of disseminating material harmful to juveniles. He pleaded guilty to both of those charges and could have been sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay around $6000 in fines. Drake Bell got lucky because he won’t be seeing the inside of a cell.
Drake was arrested and charged in Ohio, as the offense took place in Cleveland. So his sentencing also took place in Cleveland. People magazine reports that Drake appeared virtually yesterday to receive his sentencing for his felony child endangerment charge and his misdemeanor charge of disseminating material to juveniles, and the 35-year-old former actor and current red flag to underage women got off pretty easy:
During a virtual appearance at a Cleveland court on Monday, the 35-year-old was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service. He is also prohibited from contacting the victim.
I love doing the math on community service hours, and if Drake treats his like an 8-hour day job, he’s only got to clock in about 25 days worth of servicing his community, or about a month. I hope he’s able to find the time, what with his brand new baby and surprise-wife he recently debuted at Disneyland. TMZ notes that Drake’s probation supervision and his community service will likely be carried out in California, where he lives right now. If he violates his probation, he could face up to one year in prison.
Drake’s legal team released the following statement about the sentencing decision, where they managed to get more than a little tacky by implying that his victim was guilty of some allegation exaggerating:
Statement on behalf of Drake Bell by Attorneys Ian Friedman and Madelyn Grant: pic.twitter.com/tYG7Rb7hhz
— Ian Friedman (@IanNFriedman) July 12, 2021
For more on those allegations, we go to Drake’s victim, who spoke during the sentencing hearing. It has been reported that Drake’s encounter with the victim (who is currently 19 years old) happened when she was 15 years old, but according to Drake’s victim, he was contacting her online as young as 12. She called Drake a coward for not appearing in court and hiding behind a Zoom camera, before claiming her family has spent $7000 in therapy bills to help her deal with the trauma from getting groomed by Drake Bell. via People:
“I chose to write this statement because I want justice to be served more than anything,” she began over Zoom. “The only time that the defendant has appeared in court in person was on June 3 for his arraignment, which was before the media found out about the case. He has appeared in court today over Zoom instead of appearing in person. This doesn’t surprise me and shows what a coward he is, but I am not a coward.”
“He was calculating. He preyed on me and sexually abused me,” she said, alleging that he sent her photos of his genitalia. “He is a monster and a danger to children.” She concluded, “Jared Drake Bell is a pedophile and that is his legacy.”
I don’t know if it’s Drake Bell’s whole legacy, but it’s a pretty damn big part of it. Although I’m sure his old Drake & Josh co-star Josh Peck would be ok if pedo allegations were Drake Bell’s only legacy. The less Drake & Josh is brought up when talking about current-day Drake Bell, the better it is for Josh Peck’s Google alerts, I’m sure.