Drake Bell sentenced to two years probation for attempted child endangerment
13 July 2021, 12:11
Drake Bell's victim has accused Bell of grooming her from the age of 12 and allegedly sexually abusing her when she was 15.
Drake Bell has officially been sentenced to two years of probation after he pled guilty to attempted child endangerment.
In June 2021, Drake Bell was arrested and charged with attempted child endangerment and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. The Nickelodeon actor initially pleaded not guilty in court. He posted bond and agreed to end all contact with his victim following his release. However, Bell has since pled guilty to both charges and accepted a plea deal.
Now, Bell has received his official sentence and his victim has given a statement about the ways in which he hurt her.
Bell appeared virtually at a Cleveland court on Monday and was sentenced to two years probation. He is also required to do 200 hours of community service and prohibited from any form of contact with the victim. However, Bell is not required to serve any jail time in spite of his crimes.
In the hearing, Bell's victim, who is now 19, spoke out about the abuse she experienced. She called the 35-year-old the "epitome of evil" and accused the actor of grooming her from the age of 12 and allegedly sexually abusing her when she was 15.
She explained: "I chose to write this statement because I want justice to be served more than anything. The only time that the defendant has appeared in court in person was on June 3 for his arraignment, which was before the media found out about the case. He has appeared in court today over Zoom instead of appearing in person. This doesn't surprise me and shows what a coward he is, but I am not a coward."
The victim also explained that Bell allegedly sent her photos of his genitalia, and said: "He was calculating. He preyed on me and sexually abused me. He is a monster and a danger to children. Jared Drake Bell is a paedophile and that is his legacy." She also said that she experienced panic attacks, nightmares and had to undergo $7,000 worth of therapy as a result of Bell's actions.
In response, Bell stated: "I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong. I'm sorry that the victim was harmed in any way, but that was obviously not my intention. I have taken this matter very, very seriously. And again, I just want to apologize to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions."
Following their statements, the judge told Bell: "Your position and celebrity status enabled you to nurture this relationship. You were able to gain access to this child and you were able to gain the trust of the child. So it's a two-edged sword, your position. I hope you truly are remorseful, I don't know [if you are]."
According to People, they "declared that Bell did take advantage of the victim as she didn't have the emotional or mental maturity to properly engage in their situation".