The victim filed a report with her local police department in Canada in October 2018, stating that she was assaulted by Bell in 2017, during a concert in Cleveland.
Trigger Warning: This story contains instances of sexual assault on a minor that may be disturbing to readers.
Actor Drake Bell, born Jared Bell, best known for his role in Nickelodeon's Drake and Josh, has been sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty on June 23 to criminal charges involving a minor, reports CNN. The actor was charged with an attempt to endangering children, a fourth-degree felony, and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
35-year-old Bell was sentenced by a Cleveland court on Monday, July 12, along with 200 hours of community service, per PEOPLE. He is also forbidden from contacting the victim.
During the victim's statement, where she called the star "the epitome of evil," she alleged that Bell groomed her when she was just 12 years old, before sexually assaulting her when she was 15. She reportedly met him through her aunt, and at the time, "he was a hero to me," she said.
Drake Bell has been sentenced to 2 years probation for the attempted endangering of children & disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) July 12, 2021
The victim accused Drake Bell of grooming her from 12 before sexually abusing her when she was 15.
(Source: https://t.co/fp4cDd2DeJ) pic.twitter.com/xcZ5pdCvhX
The woman said in her statement that Bell had sexually assaulted her on two occasions, but he denied the allegations.
"I chose to write this statement because I want justice to be served more than anything," the victim, now 19, began over Zoom. "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."
During the statement, the victim spoke about the pain inflicted on her because of Bell's actions. She also mentioned how it took a toll on her mental health, adding that her parents had to spend over $7,000 for her therapy. "He was calculating. He preyed on me and sexually abused me," she said, alleging that he sent her photos of his genitalia. "He is a monster and a danger to children."
She concluded, "Jared Drake Bell is a pedophile and that is his legacy."
Bell then issued his own brief statement to the judge before he received his official sentencing. "I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong," he said. "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."
According to KXAN, the victim filed a report with her local police department in Canada in October 2018, stating that she was assaulted by Bell in 2017, during a concert in Cleveland. At that concert “Bell violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim,” the prosecutor’s office reports.
An investigation into the matter at the time revealed that in the months leading up to the concert, Bell allegedly sent the victim inappropriate social media messages.
During the hearing, the victim could be seen crying.
Less than a week after pleading guilty, the actor, who also goes by Drake Campana, shared on Twitter that he has been married for three years, and is a father to a little boy.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Christopher Polk