Drake Bell Arrested for Crimes Against a Child

Drake Bell, of Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh fame, has been arrested and is facing charges in Ohio in Cuyahoga County. The 34-year-old, who was booked under his given first name, Jared, has been charged with one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and one count of attempted endangering children, according to FOX 8 in Cleveland. The news station reports that he allegedly engaged in an inappropriate chat with the victim that, at times, was sexual in nature.

Although Bell's mugshot was taken at the Cuyahoga County Jail on Thursday, just before 3 p.m., it is unclear when he was arrested. Court documents only show that the Cleveland Division of Police was the arresting agency and that he appeared in Cuyahoga County court on Thursday. At that time, he entered a not guilty plea and was freed on a $2,500 perusal bond. He reportedly agreed to have no contact with the alleged victim in the case. A judge also ordered him to submit DNA in the case, which s standard operating procedure.

The alleged incident happened on Dec. 1, 2017. Bell was scheduled to play Cleveland's The Odeon Concert Club on Dec. 1, 2017, according to an old tweet of the musician's. Bell will next appear in court via Zoom for a pretrial hearing later in June. He is reportedly expected to enter a plea of no contest or guilty to the bill of information.

Last year, fans were caught off guard to learn that Bell changed his name to Drake Campana, moved to Mexico and released Spanish-language pop music that is wildly popular there. Bell's social media profiles boast a lot of Spanish-language content, often comprised of tongue-in-cheek jokes about his past as a Nickelodeon star. Fans may have thought he was joking when he began posting memes about his desire to move to Mexico, believing it was part of the common joke about leaving the U.S. for political reasons. However, Bell followed through and did not explain any specific reasons why.

He made headlines in August 2020 when his ex-girlfriend, Melissa Lingafelt, accused him of verbal and physical abuse. She shared her story on TikTok, but Bell denied the accusations. "[I] never abused my ex-girlfriend or did so many of the other things Melissa falsely claimed on her TikTok video," he said, according to PEOPLE. There have been no reports about any legal matters between Bell and Lingafelt.

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After Drake & Josh — which starred Bell as well as Josh Peck — stopped airing in 2007, Bell continued to do voice work and released several pop music albums while continuing to tour. Before Drake & Josh, Bell appeared on the Amanda Bynes-starring The Amanda Show.