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Drake Bell Sentenced in Child Endangerment Case

Actor who exchanged sexual texts with minor sentenced to 1 year of probation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2021 3:39 PM CDT

(Newser) – "Jared Drake Bell is a pedophile and that is his legacy," a woman who said the Nickelodeon had groomed her since she was 12 told a sentencing hearing in Ohio Monday. Bell, who pleaded guilty last month to attempted child endangerment and disseminating material harmful to juveniles, could have faced prison time, but the court sentenced him to a year of probation, CNN reports. He was also ordered to serve 200 hours of community service and to have no contact with the victim, who is now 19, reports NBC. The 35-year-old Drake & Josh star will not be required to register as a sex offender.

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The woman said she had exchanged texts of a sexual nature with Bell after meeting him online. She attended one of his concerts when she was 15. "The pain that the defendant has caused me is indescribable, and it worsens every day,” the woman told the court Monday, per NBC. “Being used by somebody who meant the world to me has left me feeling more hurt than I have ever been before." She also accused Bell of sexually assaulting her on two occasions, though Bell's attorney told the court those allegations "not only lack supporting evidence but are contradicted by the facts learned through extensive investigation." The actor apologized and admitted his conduct was "wrong." "I'm sorry that the victim was harmed in any way but that was obviously not my intention," he said. (Read more Drake Bell stories.)

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