Former Nickelodeon Star Drake Bell Sentenced To 2 Years Probation For Sexting A Minor
American actor Drake Bell from the Nickelodeon hit show ‘Drake & Josh’ has been sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service after he pleaded guilty to charges of attempted child endangerment and disseminating harmful material to children in a court hearing last month.
The actor was found guilty of sending inappropriate messages to a then 15-year-old girl who met Bell online and attended one of his concerts in Cleveland, Ohio in 2017. According to the victim who’s now 19 years old, the actor had “groomed” her since she was 12 and sent her messages that were sexual in nature when she was 15.
“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 pedophile and that is his legacy,” said the victim, who claimed to have spent $7,000 (RM29,400) on therapy due to the panic attacks and nightmares she had experienced because of Bell.
The victim also alleged that Bell had sent her sexually explicit photos of his genital, though Bell denied this claim. Although the actor stressed that he did not intend to harm the victim, he also accepted responsibility in this case and apologised to the victim as well as anyone else who may have been affected by his actions.
The judge eventually ruled Bell as guilty, saying that he took advantage of his celebrity status to gain access to the victim and gain her trust, especially when she did not have “the emotional or mental maturity to properly engage” in the situation.