Former Nickelodeon actor Drake Bell was arrested in Cleveland, Ohio, and is being charged with attempted endangering children, a 4th-degree felony, and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, 1st-degree misdemeanor, according to court documents obtained by In Touch.
The Drake and Josh alum, 34, who is also facing charges of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, was indicted on May 21. He appeared in Cuyahoga County court on Thursday, June 4, where he entered a not guilty plea. The actor posted a $2,500 bond ordering him to have no contact with his alleged victim. He is due back in court on June 23. Bell faces a maximum sentence of up to 18 months in prison if he is found guilty of all of the charges.
The California native was indicted last month for the alleged incident that reportedly happened on December 1, 2017, the same day the Amanda Show alum performed at a nightclub in Cleveland.
“That investigation revealed that the victim, who had established a relationship with Bell several years prior, attended his concert in December 2017,” Tyler Sinclair, spokesperson for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office told In Touch. “While there, Bell violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim.” According to the investigation, Bell sent the victim inappropriate social media messages in the months leading up to the concert.
When reached by In Touch, Bell’s lawyer had no comment but said “the facts will be revealed in the courtroom.”
This isn’t the first time Bell has been in hot water. In August 2020, the Yours, Mine & Ours actor was accused by former girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt, who goes by stage name Jimi Ono, of verbal and physical abuse. The pair dated for about two years beginning in 2006 when she was 16 and he was 20.
“First off, I’d like to start out by saying, I don’t really care if anyone believes me, as this is my story and my life, and something that I went through,” Lingafelt, 31, said in a social media video at the time. “It wasn’t until recently that I actually realized that abuse isn’t something that all women have to go through.”
She alleged “about a year” after she “moved in” with the actor, she experienced “the worst type of verbal abuse.” She continued, “It then turned into physical — hitting, throwing, everything. At the pinnacle of it, he [dragged] me down the stairs of our house in Los Feliz. My face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this.”
Bell denied his former College costar’s allegations. “I never abused my ex-girlfriend or did so many of the other things Melissa falsely claimed on her TikTok video,” the actor said in a statement to People at the time. “As our relationship ended — more than a decade ago — we, unfortunately, both called each other terrible names, as often happens when couples are breaking up. But that is it.”
The All That alum claimed he provided Lingafelt “financial support during a tough time” in 2019, despite no longer being romantically involved. “I do not know if today’s behavior is some kind of misguided quest for more money or attention,” he continued. “But I cannot and will not allow these offensive and defamatory allegations to go unchallenged and I am reviewing my legal options.”
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