Drake Bell Breaks Silence on Child Endangerment Charges

Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell is breaking his silence following his conviction and sentencing on child endangerment charges earlier this year. In a recent video Bell shared to his Instagram account, Bell opened up about the charges while also addressing some of the rumors that have surrounded him since taking a guilty plea in the case - specifically that he had changed his name and moved to Mexico, both of which Bell denied.

"A lot of the news that you've been hearing, most of the news that you've heard recently and is entirely false and wrong and I feel that you deserve and I owe you an explanation," Bell said in the video (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Bell went on to explain that he hasn't changed his name, moved to Mexico nor is a Mexican resident or citizen before moving on to address the child endangerment charges.

"I know that this has moved very quickly for you, but for me, it's been a three-year, thorough investigation into every false claim that has been made. And it's not me telling you that the claims are false, but the state of Ohio has proven the claims to be false," Bell said. "If these claims were remotely true, my situation would be very different. I would not be here at home with my wife and my son."

In June of this year, Bell was arrested in Cleveland, Ohio on charges related to "attempted endangering [of] children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles" stemming from an incident in 2017. According to authorities, the incident took place at the Odeon Concert Club where a 15-year-old girl attended Bell's event at the club after having already developed a relationship prior to attending the show. The girl later filed a complaint with Canadian police in October 2018. Per the initial report, authorities said Bell had been sending inappropriate messages to the girl on social media for months and that, while at the event in Ohio, Bell created a risk of harm for the victim. On June 23rd, Bell pleaded guilty to both charges and on July 12th was sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service, as well as no contact with the victim, who was 19 at the time of Bell's sentencing.

In his video, Bell maintains that he was unaware of the victim's age when they began chatting and that he stopped communication upon learning their age. He also went on to say that he agreed to the plea deal so that he could "move on".

"When I was presented with a plea deal because of the messages, I felt that it was the best way to get this over quickly and for everybody involved to be able to move on and for me to get back to doing what I love," he said. "I want to say thank you to everyone who saw through the lies and did their research and looked at my case and saw for what it was, instead of through all this media confusion. Don't believe the media right off the bat. It's a lot of clickbait. Do your own research and come to conclusions."

Bell is most well known for his role as Drake Parker in Drake & Josh, which ran from 2004 to 2007. The show was a huge hit, and after it ended Bell would go on to do quite a bit of voice work, especially in the Marvel universe. Bell voiced Spider-Man several times, including in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Marvel Heroes, Avengers Assemble, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., and Ultimate Spider-Man