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Drake Bell Given Two Years Probation On Child Endangerment Charge

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Drake Bell Given Two Years Probation On Child Endangerment Charge

Former child star Drake Bell has been sentenced to two years' probation after pleading guilty to felony attempted child endangerment and a misdemeanour charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

The charges, which he admitted to last month, are in relation to a girl who met Bell online and attended his concerts while 15, the Associated Press reports.

Bell, 35, who starred in Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh, said at the Zoom hearing: "I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong."

Bell was also ordered to carry out 200 hours community service. He's also been told he can have no contact with the victim, who is now 19.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

In a statement read out to the court, the victim said: "My life hasn't been the same since I was 15. I think about these crimes every single day. I feel like I'm in a constant dark place. Sometimes I wish I could disappear so I can forget about what happened."

She went on to call Bell a 'monster'.

Bell, whose real first name is Jared, said in a statement: "Today I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong. I'm sorry that the victim was harmed in any way - that was obviously not my intention.

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"I have taken this matter very, very seriously, and again I just want to apologise to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions."

Bell was arrested in June and appeared at the Cuyahoga County Court where he initially entered a not guilty plea and was released on a $2,500 bond.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

However, at his pre-trial hearing on 23 June he changed his plea to guilty.

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Judge Timothy McCormick said in court: "There were serious and disturbing allegations made here today but we can't lose focus on what he pled to. He did not plead to sexual misconduct.

"However, a grown man does not engage in inappropriate text messages to a teenager."

Speaking to NBC News today Bell's lawyer Ian Friedman, said his client's guilty plea and sentence 'reflect conduct for which Mr. Bell did accept responsibility'.

Friedman went on: "The victim's allegations that went beyond that which all parties agreed, not only lack supporting evidence but are contradicted by the facts learned through extensive investigation.

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"As the court made clear, this plea was never about sexual misconduct or sexual relations with any person, let alone a minor."

Featured Image Credit: PA

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Claire Reid
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