Drake Bell, best known for his role on Nickelodeon’s tween sitcom Drake & Josh, has now pleaded guilty to charges of endangering children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles in an Ohio court. Per People, this comes after Bell initially pleaded “not guilty” to the charges earlier this month; he later took a plea agreement on both charges, pleading guilty to a fourth degree felony and a first degree misdemeanor, respectively.
Bell was charged back in early June, a few years after allegedly sending sexually explicit messages to a 15-year-old girl he’d met online. That, in turn, led to an in-person meeting in 2017; the teenager in question filed a police report against Bell in 2018, after claiming that the two had been in a relationship for some time. (Bell, for the record, was 32 at the time charges were filed.) Neither of the charges against Bell carry mandatory prison time, although it is possible for him to go to jail depending on sentencing, with up to 18 months on the felony, and six months on the misdemeanor.
Bell—whose career has spanned both music and acting, and whose other credits include a long series of voice roles (including a stint as Spider-Man for Disney XD)—will face sentencing on July 12. His lawyer gave a statement today noting that, “All questions about this case will be answered at sentencing, including why Mr. Bell chose to enter his plea.”
Bell has faced allegations of abuse before; last year, his ex-girlfriend, Melissa Lingafelt posted a video in which she alleged that Bell was both verbally and physically abusive toward her during their relationship more than a decade earlier. Bell responded to Lingafelt by issuing a statement denying the allegations at the time.