Drake Bell, who starred in the Nickelodeon TV series Drake and Josh in the mid-2000s, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges that he attempted to endanger the welfare of a child and disseminated inappropriate material to a juvenile, the Washington Examiner reported.
The charges are said to come in connection with an online relationship Bell allegedly had with a young girl who eventually attended a concert performed by Bell in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2017, when she was 15 and he was 31.
In the months before the December 2017 concert, Bell allegedly sent the girl inappropriate messages through social media, and prosecutors said that on the night of the concert Bell “violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim,” as the Examiner reported.
The victim reported the incident to police in Canada in October 2018, and they contacted police in Cleveland to investigate, the Examiner said.
Bell out on bail
Cleveland police then arrested and charged Bell with the crimes. According to Deadline, bail was set at $2,500, and Bell was released after agreeing not to have contact with the victim.
A partial hearing on the charges will take place June 23.
Bell lives in West Hollywood and and also goes by the name Drake Campana, Deadline noted. He starred in Drake and Josh from 2004 to 2007 and has performed as a voice actor and musician since that time.
He was in Cleveland on the day the incident allegedly happened to perform at The Odeon Concert Club, according to Deadline.
Speaking on the allegations Friday, Bell’s attorney said, “All facts will be revealed in a courtroom.”
That isn’t the only trouble for the former Nickelodeon star, however. In August, a former girlfriend of Bell alleged that he verbally and physically abused her during their relationship when both were teens, USA Today reported.
Melissa Lingafelt, who also goes by Jimi Ono on social media, said in a TikTok video that the abuse occurred when she was 16 and Bell was a few years older.
According to USA Today, Bell admitted that the two “called each other terrible names, as often happens when couples are breaking up. But that is it,” he said. He also claimed that Lingafelt “felt comfortable enough” to ask him for financial help the previous year and that he had helped her.