Drake Bell Charges Explained as Former Nickelodeon Star to Appear in Court

Drake Bell has been charged with attempted child endangerment and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

Best known for the teen sitcom, Drake & Josh, the former Nickelodeon star pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges in court this week.

Both of the charges stem from alleged incidents that happened in Cleveland, Ohio in 2017, according to court documents.

According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, a 15-year-old female from Canada first reported the alleged offenses in 2018.

Newsweek has reached out to Bell's legal representatives. His attorney released a statement to CNN, reading: "All facts will be revealed in the courtroom. There is no additional comment at this time."

Bell, 34, is now scheduled to appear in an Ohio court for a pre-trial hearing on June 23.

He has posted $2500 bond and was released from Cuyahoga County Jail.

Drake Bell
Drake Bell attends the Thirst Project's Inaugural Legacy Summit held at Pepperdine University on July 20, 2019 in Malibu, California. Getty/Michael Tran

Per, NBC News, Police in Cleveland have said that the then 15-year-old had "established a relationship with Bell several years prior and attended his concert in December 2017."

A spokesperson for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley added: "While there, Bell violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim."

The charge of attempted child endangerment related is confirmed to be related to the alleged concert incident.

Meanwhile, the disseminating harmful material is connected to Bell allegedly having sent the then 15-year-old girl "inappropriate social media messages."

But what exactly do the charges mean?

According to Free Legal Advice, child endangerment happens when an "adult caring for a child fails to ensure that the child is free from dangerous situations and adequately protect the child."

This offense is typically graded as a misdemeanor.

As for disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, this is a specific type of criminal offense under Ohio law whereby a person is accused of selling or presenting obscene or harmful material to a juvenile in any manner.

It also relates to "allowing a juvenile to view obscene or harmful material or a live performance while in the juvenile's immediate presence," according to criminal defense firm, Koffel, Brininger, Nesbitt.

In August last year, Bell denied accusations of abuse from his ex-girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt.

His former girlfriend took to TikTok where she posted a video alleging that Bell verbally and physically abused her when they lived together more than 10 years ago. Bell denies the accusations.

It was also recently reported that Bell changed his name to Drake Campana and has carved out a career as a successful Spanish-language singer, based out of Mexico.

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts