Drake & Josh Star Drake Bell Addresses Child Endangerment Allegations

Former Drake and Josh star, Drake Bell, addresses the child endangerment charges that he pled guilty to and received 2-years probation for.

Former Drake and Josh star, Drake Bell, has broken his silence and addressed the child endangerment allegations and convictions he recently faced. Bell is an American actor and musician, best known for his role in the Nickelodeon series, Drake and Josh. Bell largely transitioned from acting to music following the conclusion of Drake and Josh and remained out of the public eye for a time. However, in June of 2021, Bell was charged with child endangerment.

The charges Bell faced stemmed from an inappropriate text conversation he allegedly engaged in with a minor in 2017. The arrest occurred in 2021, and he was released on bail under the condition that he was not to contact the victim. At his subsequent trial, he pled guilty to charges of child endangerment and of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.  The victim, now 19 years old, gave a public statement at the trial accusing him of sexually assaulting her when she was a minor. Bell was ultimately sentenced to 2-years of probation and 200 hours of community service.

Now, Bell is speaking out for the first time about the charges he pled guilty to. In a short video posted to his Instagram page, Bell offered an explanation about the trial and nature of his crimes. He admitted to engaging in "reckless texting" with a fan whose age he did not know. When he learned of her age, he stopped communication with her. However, the victim continued to attend Bell's shows and meet-and-greets, and he did not realize she was the same individual whom he had texted. He stated that nothing physical occurred, no photos were disseminated, and he largely pled guilty to bring a quick end to the trial. Check out his statement below:

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Bell reiterated many times that much of the news surrounding his case is false and urged his viewers not to believe everything they read or hear from the media. He admitted that his text messages were a mistake and he pled guilty partly due to them, but staunchly denied any claims of sexual assault. Bell's case has certainly drawn high scrutiny and has been heavily covered by the media. Even Bell's former co-star Josh Peck commented on the case and expressed his disappointment at the charges. Outside of his trial, Bell had remained silent up until now, which furthered the speculation. While it is difficult to determine the truth of Bell's claims, it is true that he was not charged with sexual assault, and news reports that claimed there was a sexual element to the charges lacked evidence.

It remains to be seen what the impact of Bell's statement will be. Despite his claims and the support he received on his social media following the video, his reputation has been tarnished by the allegations. Bell's guilty plea to a felony child endangerment charge and the victim's painful statement both serve to counter any attempts at downplaying the severity of the incident. The truth in cases like these are often difficult to establish, but regardless, if some of the accusations were false, what is clear is that Bell's actions had a grave impact on the victim. What the Drake and Josh star labels as "reckless texting" may have been a much more traumatic experience from the victim's perspective. As important as it is for Bell to present his side of the story, it is equally important that it is done in respect to the victim.

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Source: Drake Bell

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