Editor’s Note: Details in this story might be upsetting to some readers. The victim said she was okay with showing her face during the sentencing.
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Jared Drake Bell, who played Drake in the Nickelodeon TV show “Drake and Josh,” was sentenced Monday on multiple charges related to crimes against a child.
Bell, 34, pleaded guilty on June 23 to attempted child endangerment, a fourth-degree felony, and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a first-degree misdemeanor. The charges stem from an incident that happened in Cleveland on Dec. 1, 2017, when Bell was scheduled to play the Odeon Concert Club.
A 15-year-old girl filed a police report in Canada in 2018 regarding a situation she says happened with Bell that night. She spoke in court via Zoom during Monday’s sentencing hearing.
“I’m going to reveal all of the crimes he has committed against me,” she said.
According to the victim, who is now 19, she had maintained a relationship with Bell since she was 12 years old.
“He was a hero to me. I would have done anything for him,” she said.
She said they maintained a relationship online, and when she was 15, the messages were “blatantly sexual.”
The prosecutor’s office said at that concert, “Bell violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim.”
The teen said Bell forced her to perform sexual acts backstage at the concert and again at a hotel room in Cleveland.
“He is a monster and a danger to children,” she said.
Canadian authorities contacted Cleveland law enforcement after the victim came forward. The Cleveland Division of Police investigated the allegations, which led to the charges.
“He is sorry he’s finally been caught. He committed these crimes with pride,” she said. “Jared Drake Bell is a pedophile and this is his legacy.”
Bell had been out on a $2,500 personal bond since his arraignment on June 3. He was asked to submit DNA, which is standard practice in Ohio.
Bell’s defense attorney claimed the actor did not know how old the teen was, and once he learned her age, he stopped communicating with her. The defense attorney said there were no claims of misconduct until the victim learned about Bell’s fiancée.
The attorney also said what the victim claimed in court Monday did not happen, and those were not the charges to which Bell pleaded guilty. The defense argued Bell had paid for his crimes by loss of employment.
Bell also spoke in court. “My conduct was wrong,” he said. “I’m sorry the victim was harmed in any way, but that was not my intention. I want to apologize to her.”
The judge sentenced him to one year on attempted child endangerment and six months on disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. They will run concurrently.
He won’t serve any jail time, but he will complete two years probation since his sentence was suspended. After that time, the judge said, his sex offender status will be reviewed.
“Drake and Josh” aired from 2004 to 2007. Bell has continued to do voice work.
He’s also released multiple albums for which he has toured nationwide. He has performed under the name Drake Campana in his music career.