Jared Drake Bell, a former star of the Nic serieskelodeon "Drake & Josh ", was sentenced Monday to two years probation after pleading guilty to two counts against him regarding a girl he met online who had attended one of his concerts in Cleveland in 2017.
" Your position and celebrity status have allowed you to maintain this relationship "Judge Timothy McCormick said Monday at the end of a one-hour virtual sentencing hearing in Cuyahoga County Common Plea Court, in which Mr. Bell, 35, and his victim appeared on camera. “You were able to access this child. You have been able to gain the trust of this childt. Hope you really have some remorse; I don't know. "
Mr. Bell, from West Hollywood, Calif., Who w as indicted in June of attempting to endanger d 'children , a felony, and dissemination of material harmful to children, a misdemeanor, will be required to register as a sex offender. He will also be required to complete 200 hours of community service in California and was ordered not to have any contact with the victim.
Mr. Bell was stoic on reading the verdict. He had accepted a deal. plea in a virtual hearing on June 23 after initially pleading not guilty to both counts.
"Your honor, I want to just say today i accept this plea because my conduct was bad "said Mr. Bell, who appeared in a dark suit and patterned tie." I am sorry the victim was injured in any way - that was obviously not my intention. took this matter very, very seriously, and again, I just want to apologize to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions. "
In In a statement Monday, Mr. Bell's attorney, Ian N. Friedman, said: "Drake and his family are relieved and grateful to have this case behind them. He can't wait to perform again for all his fans around the world.
Prosecutors say the charges stem from an incident at a concert in Cleveland on December 1, 2017. Mr. Bell, also known as the name of Drake Campana, had posted a tweet saying that he had planned a show at the Odeon Concert Club on that date.
Prosecutors said Mr. Bell had a conversation with a 15-year-old girl which was sometimes sexual in nature. An investigation by the Cleveland Police Department also found that Mr. Bell had sent to the daughter of inappropriate social media posts in the months before the show, prosecutors said.
Tyler Sinclair, spokesperson for the county prosecutor's office de Cuyahoga, said Mr. Bell "violated his duty of care " at the concert. In a virtual court appearance on Monday, the victim, who is now an adult, also said that Mr. Bell forced her to do sex acts backstage at the concert and at a Cleveland hotel.
Mr. Bell's attorney denied that Mr. Bell asked the girl to perform sexual acts.
"Her behavior was not correct; cIt was not appropriate for what he did, "Friedman said. "But what the victim claims to have taken place here, not only do I say it didn't happen - not only does Mr. Bell look like it didn't - but the evidence in this case suggests that this did not happen.
In a virtual court appearance on Monday, the victim said she was in a relationship with Mr. Bell since the age of 12.
"He was a hero to me," she said. "J 'would have done anything for him. "
She said that the messages she said she received when she was 15 were "obviously sexual ".
"The pain that the accused has caused me is indefinable and it is getting worse by the day "said the woman. " Being used by someone who mattered to me made mefeel more hurt than ever. "
" He 'sa monster and a danger to children, "she added. “He's sorry he was finally caught. He committed these crimes with pride. "
The victim, who is Canadian, filed a police report with Canadian authorities in 2018, who subsequently contacted Cleveland law enforcement.
Mr. Freidman said the victim was angry and filed the report when Mr. Bell got engaged to the woman who is now his wife. He argued that Mr. Bell had already been punished for his crimes by losing his job.
The range of sentences was up to two years probation in prison.
Mr. Bell began his career as a child actor, with his groundbreaking performance in "The Amanda Show ", a sketch comedy anda live variety. show created by Dan Schneider and starring Amanda Bynes which aired on Nickelodeon from 1999 to 2002.
" Drake & Josh ", the show for which he is best known, was also created by Mr. Schneider. It aired for four seasons on Nickelodeon from 2004 to 2007. Mr. Bell played a ha If of a pair of half-brothers (the other was played by Josh Peck) who lived together despite having opposing personalities.
In the years that followed, Mr. Bell began a musical career and toured in support of several albums.