Drake Bell has been sentenced to two years probation following his arrest for attempted child endangerment, Us Weekly can confirm.
The Nickelodeon alum, 35, appeared via Zoom in a court hearing on Monday, July 12. In addition to two years of probation, the Ohio judge sentenced him to 200 hours of community service in California and stated that he cannot have any contact with the victim. His case will also be referred to the California probation department, which will determine whether he will need to register as a sex offender.
“I just want to say today that I accept this claim because my conduct was wrong,” Bell said during the hearing. “I’m sorry that the victim was harmed in any way, but that was obviously not my intention. I take this matter very seriously, and again I just want to apologize to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions.”
Bell was arraigned on June 3 and charged with two criminal counts of attempted endangering children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. He was released from custody on a $2,500 bond.
The former Drake & Josh star initially pleaded not guilty to all charges, but he later changed his plea and pleaded guilty to both counts against him. “All questions will be answered at sentencing, including why Mr. Bell chose to enter today’s plea,” Ian Friedman, a lawyer for the actor, told Us in a statement on June 23.
According to court documents obtained by Us, the alleged incident took place on December 1, 2017, when Bell was visiting Cleveland for a performance.
“In October 2018, the female juvenile victim, 15, filed a report with her local police department in Canada regarding an incident that occurred between her and Jared Bell, 34, the previous year at a Cleveland nightclub on Old River Road in the city’s East Bank of The Flats district,” Tyler Sinclair, spokesman for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, said in a statement last month.
“Canadian authorities contacted the Cleveland Division of Police who conducted a subsequent investigation. That investigation revealed that the victim, who had established a relationship with Bell several years prior, attended his concert in December 2017,” Sinclair’s statement continued. “While there, Bell violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim. The investigation also revealed that months leading up to the concert, Bell sent the victim inappropriate social media messages.”
In June, the “Found a Way” singer confirmed that he welcomed a child with Janet Von Schmeling, also revealing that the pair secretly wed almost three years ago.
“In response to various rumors that are incorrect, I have been married for almost three years, and we are blessed to be the parents of a wonderful son,” Bell wrote in a tweet originally posted in Spanish. “Thank you very much to all my fans around the world for your good wishes.”
Rumors about the couple began swirling after the actor was photographed visiting Disneyland with Von Schmeling and their child on June 28. That trip marked the first time Bell was seen in public since pleading guilty.
With reporting by Marjorie Hernandez