CLEVELAND (AP) — One of the stars of the popular Nickelodeon children’s show “Drake & Josh” faces criminal charges regarding a girl he had met online and who attended his 2017 concert in Ohio when she was 15.
Jared “Drake” Bell, 34, pleaded not guilty on Thursday in a Cleveland courtroom to a felony charge of attempted endangering children and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.READ MORE: Police Investigating Fight At North Versailles Bowling Alley
“All facts will be revealed in a courtroom,” Bell’s attorney Ian Friedman said Friday, declining to comment further.
Bell was charged by information, which typically indicates a plea agreement has been reached. He is scheduled to appear before a judge on June 23.
Tyler Sinclair, spokesperson for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley, said the girl filed a complaint with Canadian police in October 2018. Police there contacted Cleveland police, prompting an investigation.READ MORE: Live Winter Storm Tracker: Pittsburgh Area Digs Out After Heavy Snowfall Blankets Region
The attempted endangering children charge relates to the concert, Sinclair said, where Bell “violated his duty of care” and created a risk of harm to the victim. He didn’t elaborate further.
Bell and the girl had “developed a relationship” online several years prior to the concert, Sinclair said. The disseminating harmful material charge concerns Bell having sent the girl “inappropriate social media messages,” Sinclair said.
Bell, also a singer, began acting as a child, but was catapulted to stardom as a teen with Nickelodeon’s “The Amanda Show” and later “Drake & Josh,” which debuted on the channel in January 2004. The final episode aired in September 2007. Bell and co-star Josh Beck also starred in two “Drake & Josh” movies.MORE NEWS: Gov. Jim Justice Resumes Briefings, Says COVID-19 Is ‘Tough Stuff’
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