Former Drake & Josh star Drake Bell has pleaded guilty to charges of attempted child endangerment.
In a virtual hearing on Wednesday, Bell updated his plea in a deal he worked out with the prosecutor’s office, according to a statement made by the judge.
Drake was charged with two separate crimes stemming from an incident in 2017.
Allegedly, Drake sent a 15-year-old girl inappropriate messages through social media prior to an incident that occurred the same night he was scheduled to perform at a Cleveland-area nightclub. The 34-year-old was then accused of having “violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim,” in 2017.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office got involved in 2018, after the victim, who lives in Canada, went to Canadian authorities to file charges.
In June during his first scheduled hearing, Drake initially pleaded not guilty. Bell was released on bail while he awaited Wednesday’s pretrial hearing. It seems as in that time, his team worked out a plea deal prior to the hearing.
“My understanding is there’s been a plea agreement reached where the defendant will plead guilty to count one attempted endangering children, a felony in the fourth degree [and] plead guilty to count two: disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a misdemeanor the first degree,” the judge explained while reviewing the case.
If convicted, Drake would’ve faced between six and 18 months in prison and/or a fine of $5,000 for the first charge and an additional possible six months in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000 for the second charge.
The guilty plea will most likely get him a reduced sentence and prevent his victim from having to endure a lengthy trial. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for July 12.
As a term of his release, he will most likely need to be on a watch list and follow certain guidelines. And any violation of any of the terms of his release could stack more time on his prison sentence.
“However, if you go to prison, upon your release, you could be subjected to a discretionary period of three years post-release control,” the judge revealed to him over video chat. “Post-release control could involve restrictions on your activities. If you were to violate those restrictions, you can be returned to prison, [for] up to a maximum of one-half of your original sentence.”
The unnamed victim was just 15 years old at the time of the incident.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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