Drake Bell pleads guilty to attempted child endangermentjessie tan
Drake Bell has pleaded guilty to attempted child endangerment.
The former Drake & Josh star was arrested in Ohio earlier this month and was charged with alleged attempted endangering children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
And although he initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, People magazine has reported he agreed to a plea deal during a virtual court appearance on Wednesday (June 23).
The judge in Drake’s case said at the hearing: “My understanding is there’s been a plea agreement reached where the defendant will plead guilty to count one attempted endangering children, a felony in the fourth degree (and) plead guilty to count two: disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a misdemeanour the first degree.”
Drake was then told his attempted child endangerment charge carries a sentence of six to 18 months in prison in monthly increments and/or a fine of up to US$5,000 (S$6,700), while disseminating matter harmful to juveniles carries up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to US$1,000.
He continued: “However, if you go to prison, upon your release, you could be subjected to a discretionary period of three years post-release control. Post-release control could involve restrictions on your activities.”
“If you were to violate those restrictions, you can be returned to prison, (for) up to a maximum of one half of your original sentence.”
When he asked Drake if he understood the potential penalties, the 34-year-old actor said: “I do, Your Honour. Yes.”
Drake will now need to attend a sentencing hearing on July 12, where he is also set to explain why he chose to accept a plea deal.
His lawyer, Ian Friedman said in a statement: “All questions about this case will be answered at sentencing, including why Mr Bell chose to enter his plea.”
The actor was released from police custody after submitting a US$2,500 bond, and agreed to not have contact with his alleged victim upon being released, and has been required to submit a DNA specimen.
The alleged incident reportedly took place on Dec 1, 2017 when he was scheduled to perform at a club in Cleveland, Ohio.