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Drake & Josh Star Drake Bell Changes Plea to Guilty in Child Endangerment Case

todayJune 24, 2021 5

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Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell has pleaded guilty to charges of attempted endangering of children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

What We Know:

  • Bell, 34, was arrested on these charges in early June, while in Ohio. His charges come from various internet exchanges from 2017, between Bell and a 15-year-old Canadian teen. The chats between Bell and the minor were “sexual in nature” and the pair had been in contact for several years. The teen attended Bell’s December 2017 Cleveland concert and went to a nightclub with him, where he allegedly “violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim.” He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, was released on a $2,500 bond, and was asked to submit DNA.
  • The former actor appeared virtually in court on Wednesday and changed his plea from not guilty to guilty. Ian N. Friedman, Bell’s attorney, stated that “all questions will be answered at sentencing, including why Mr. Bell chose to enter today’s plea.”
  • In August 2020, Bell’s former girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt posted a TikTok video that accused Bell of physical and verbal abuse. Bell started dating Lingafelt in 2006 and the couple broke up 2 years later. Lingafelt was 16-years old when they started dating and she moved in with him, while she pursued a singing career. In the viral video, she claims the verbal abuse started about a year into the relationship and then led to the physical.

“It then turned to physical — hitting, throwing, everything. At the pinnacle of it, he drug me down the stairs of our house on Los Feliz. My face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this,” said Lingafelt.

  • Lingafelt, 30, also brought up messages that she received from others that alleged Bell of having sex with a 15-year-old when he was 20. She posted on Instagram that many of her friends were aware of the abuse she endured while dating Bell and that she didn’t make the video to receive attention for abuse. Her wish is that others who Bell has abused will feel comfortable to come forward because she knows “for a fact he has hundreds of victims.”
  • Bell has denied the allegations from Lingafelt and said that they were together over a decade ago. He did state that they both called each other “terrible names” when they were going through their breakup. According to Bell, the exes were in contact in 2019, when Lingafelt reached out to him for financial support while going through a hard time, and he ended up helping her out.
  • After the release of Lingafelt’s claims, reports of Bell living in Mexico and going by Drake Campana, which means Drake “Bell,” came to light. His active social media handles are still @drakebell, however, his display name is not and his pages mostly promote his new music ventures. Bell had been living in the country for close to a year, but many people believe he moved there to get away from Lingafelt’s allegations. Bell was said to be seeking legal options against Lingafelt, but no word on if he has.
  • The attempted child endangerment charge will give Bell a fourth-degree felony on his record. This charge can sentence someone up to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Bell’s second charge is a first-degree misdemeanor and can sentence him up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Bell was informed by Judge Timothy McCormick that he doesn’t have to do the prison sentences, but if he does then he has to do a “discretionary period of three years post-release control after he’s released.”

Bell’s sentencing is set for July 12th and the judge will hear the victim’s impact statement at that time if she chooses to provide one.

The post Drake & Josh Star Drake Bell Changes Plea to Guilty in Child Endangerment Case appeared first on Black News Alerts.

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todayJune 24, 2021