After pleading guilty last month to charges of attempted child endangerment, former child star Drake Bell has been sentenced. Considering the severity of his charges, the one-time star of Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh got a fairly lenient sentence, though there are several reasons for the surprisingly light sentence. This news comes after Bell revealed that he recently got married and became the father to a baby boy.
Drake Bell Sentenced In Child Endangerment Case
Drake Bell has received a sentence of two years of probation along with a mandatory 200 hours of community service. Just three weeks earlier, on June 23, Bell pleaded guilty to one charge of attempted child endangerment, a fourth-degree felony, as well as a second single count of disseminating harmful material to a juvenile, which is a first-degree misdemeanor.
The charges stem from a 2017 incident at a Cleveland, Ohio, nightclub where Bell was set to perform. A then-15-year-old girl filed a police report in her native Canada, the Cuyahoga Prosecutor’s Office’s Public Information Officer Tyler Sinclair reported, and the case was then handed over to the Cleveland Division of Police. After an investigation was made into the incident, Bell was arrested on June 3, 2021.
He was released on a personal $2,500 bond and had initially pleaded not guilty to both charges. His tune had changed, however, by the time his day in Zoom court rolled around. According to Sinclair, the investigation by law enforcement found that Bell had “violated his duty of care” in December 2017 and therefore “created a risk of harm” to the minor.
Sinclair also claimed that Bell had sent the underage female several “inappropriate social media messages” in the months leading up to the 2017 concert, adding that the teen “had established a relationship with Bell several years prior.”
The Judge Decided Against Jail Time, Stuck Bell With Probation Instead
The charges against Bell carried a wide-range of punishments, including the possibility of between six and 18 months in prison. There was also the possibility, the judge noted to Bell in court, that the former child star could simply face probation. One of the reasons why Bell likely faced a lesser sentence could be because he pleaded guilty.
This is also the first time Bell has gotten in trouble with the law. His status as a newly married man and father could have also convinced the judge not to hit the actor-turned-singer with a steeper sentence. It’s unclear which of these reasons, if any of them, swayed the judge to make his final decision, but Bell is likely quite relieved that he won’t be going to prison, at least as long as he follows the guidelines of his probation to the letter.
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