Drake Bell Victim Calls Him 'The Epitome Of Evil,' Actor Sentenced To Two Years Probation After Guilty Child Endangerment Plea
Drake Bell has been sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to two charges of attempted endangering children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
During his virtual appearance at a Cleveland, Ohio, court on Monday, July 12, the actor was sentenced to probation and 200 hours of community service, it was reported. Bell's sexual offender report will also reportedly be submitted again for re-evaluation on whether he should be required to undergo further counseling.
In addition, the 35-year-old is reportedly prohibited from contacting the victim, who publicly spoke out for the first time during his hearing.
In her statement, the unnamed victim — who was 15 years old when the alleged 2017 assault took place — called Bell, born Jared Bell, "the epitome of evil," PEOPLE reported. She also accused the Drake & Josh alum of grooming her from the age of 12, years before their alleged encounter at a nightclub took place.
Bell's victim explained that she wanted to "write this statement because I want justice to be served more than anything," before calling him out for being too scared to appear in court in person.
"The only time that the defendant has appeared in court in person was on June 3 for his arraignment, which was before the media found out about the case," she said via Zoom. "He has appeared in court today over Zoom instead of appearing in person. This doesn't surprise me and shows what a coward he is, but I am not a coward."
While discussing the "pain" Bell allegedly caused her — with her claiming his actions resulted in her having panic attacks and nightmares — she said her parents have spent thousands of dollars for her to go to therapy.
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Bell's victim continued to go after the embattled actor, calling him "calculating" and a "monster" and claimed he is "a danger to children."
"He preyed on me and sexually abused me," she insisted, alleging that he sent her photos of his genitalia. "Jared Drake Bell is a pedophile and that is his legacy."
Before Bell received his official plea, he issued his own statement before the judge. "I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong," he admitted before apologizing to the victim.
"I'm sorry that the victim was harmed in any way, but that was obviously not my intention," Bell insisted. "I have taken this matter very, very seriously. And again, I just want to apologize to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions."
The judge concluded that Bell "did take advantage" of the victim, since she was a minor and didn't have "the emotional or mental maturity to properly engage" in their situation, according to the outlet. The judge declared that he used his "position and celebrity status" to "nurture" his relationship with the young girl.
OK! reported that the incident in question took place on December 1, 2017 at a Cleveland nightclub, the same day Bell was scheduled to perform at a club in the city. The female juvenile victim filed a police report in October of the following year.
The Cleveland Division of Police then conducted an investigation into the matter, discovering that Bell sent the young girl inappropriate social media messages that were sexual in nature in the months leading up to the concert.
They found that "the victim, who had established a relationship with Bell several years prior, attended his concert in December 2017. While there, Bell violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim."