Back in June, former Nickelodeon sitcom star Drake Bell—of The Amanda Show and Drake & Josh—took a plea deal in an Ohio court related to charges of attempted child endangerment after he sent explicit text messages to a teenage girl and met up with her at a Cleveland nightclub. Bell had initially entered a plea of not guilty to harsher charges, but his guilty plea covers one count of attempted child endangerment (a fourth-degree felony) and one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles (a first-degree misdemeanor). Bell was sentenced today, receiving two years of probation and 200 hours of community service. He is also barred from having any contact with the victim but does not have to register as a sex offender in Ohio, which may be part Bell’s plea deal, as his lawyer put out a statement saying “this plea was never about sexual misconduct or sexual relations with any person, let alone a minor.”
The lawyer’s statement [which came via NBC News] was also very much a response to a statement from the victim, which she made before the sentencing. In it, she referred to Bell as “a pedophile” who had been “grooming” her since she was 12. “My life hasn’t been the same since I was 15. I think about these crimes every single day. I feel like I’m in a constant dark place,” she said, “Sometimes I wish I could disappear so I can forget about what happened.” Bell also made a very carefully worded statement in which he admitted that his conduct “was wrong,” and added that he’s “sorry that the victim was harmed in any way” because that was “obviously” not his “intention.”
Last year, Bell faced allegations from a former girlfriend who said that he verbally and physically abused her and that their relationship began when she was underage. He denied those allegations at the time.