Drake Bell Pleads Guilty to Charges Related to Crimes Against a Child

Actor and musician Drake Bell of 'Drake & Josh' fame has pleaded guilty to attempted child endangerment and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

drake bell

Image via Getty/Michael Tran

drake bell

Actor and musician Drake Bell of Drake & Josh fame pleaded guilty to attempted child endangerment and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

TMZ reports that Bell pleaded guilty in Ohio court on Wednesday, and the judge has accepted his guilty plea. He is currently due to be sentenced in July, and could face up to 18 months in prison. He was arrested in Cleveland earlier this month and indicted on the previously mentioned charges, a 4th degree felony and a 1st degree misdemeanor. 

The charges are related to an alleged interaction between him and a 15-year-old child at a Cleveland nightclub in Dec. 2017. The case was filed against the actor in 2018 in Canada, and was later brought to the Cleveland Division of Police. Following an investigation, it was discovered by authorities that Bell had an established relationship with the child for “several years” prior to the alleged interaction, which was supposedly at times sexual in nature.

"While there, Bell violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim," said a spokesperson for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley. "The investigation also revealed that months leading up to the concert, Bell sent the victim inappropriate social media messages." He previously pleaded not guilty to the charges and waived the reading of the indictment.

Drake Bell Pleads Guilty in Endangering Children Case in Ohio https://t.co/19Et2VD7VD

— TMZ (@TMZ) June 23, 2021

The former teen star’s problems didn’t start with his arrest this month, however, as his ex-girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt accused him of physical and verbal abuse last year. They dated between 2006 and 2009, and Lingafelt said it started when she was just 16 and he was 20. He promptly denied the allegations, but his ex, Paydin Layne, backed up Lingafelt’s claims and said she “went through the same horrific, verbal, physical, and mental abuse.”

“Gonn’ act like I didn’t tell you guys,” Lingafelt said in a TikTok video addressing Bell's arrest this month. "Too bad him having a kid to clean up his image ain’t work." I

In 2016, Bell was sentenced to 96 hours in jail after he received his second DUI conviction.

Latest in Pop Culture