Drake Bell's crimes: 'Drake & Josh' star, 34, arrested for 'inappropriate chats' with 15-year-old girl
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OHIO: Jared Drake Bell who starred in the Nickelodeon TV series 'Drake and Josh' has been charged with disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and attempted child endangerment. Reportedly, the 34-year-old actor engaged in inappropriate conversations with a victim, which veered toward the sexual. He was arrested by the Cleveland Division of Police on, June 3.
Court documents confirmed that Bell appeared in court on June 3, entering a not-guilty plea to the charges stamped on him. He was given bail on a $2,500 personal bond and an agreement to have no contact with the alleged victim. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for June 23 over Zoom. The alleged incident in question took place on December 1, 2017. The same day, Bell had tweeted that he was scheduled to perform in Cleveland. However, his tweet has been deleted since. This is not the first account of Bell's run-ins with the law. The actor's ex-girlfriend from 2006 to 2009, Melissa Lingafelt had accused him of verbal and physical abuse in August 2020.
What led to the charges?
The incidents at the heart of the case happened at Bell’s December 1, 2017 concert at the Odeon Concert Club in the Cleveland’s Flats neighborhood, and resulted in “serious physical harm” to the girl, according to court records. The records did not say how the girl was harmed.
The girl approached the York Regional Police in Canada, outside Toronto, sometime before July 2019, according to a copy of a Cleveland police report released on June 4. York police’s investigation “involved three incidents of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.” The two counts Bell is charged with do not accuse him of sexually abusing the girl, states Cleveland.com. In a statement released June 4, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley's office said that Bell and the girl “established a relationship several years” before she went to the concert. “While there, Bell violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim,” spokesman Tyler Sinclair in an emailed statement. As part of his arrest, Bell was ordered to submit a DNA sample for the court.
Jared Bell's previous crimes
The actor's ex-girlfriend from 2006 to 2009, Melissa Lingafelt — better known by her stage name Jimi Ono on her TikTok account — claimed that the then 34-year-old verbally and physically abused her when they dated and lived together more than a decade ago. Melissa dated him in 2006 for around two years and alleged the actor once dragged her down the stairs of their house. In a video on TikTok posted in August 2020, she said: "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. It wasn't until recently that I actually realized that abuse isn't something that all women have to go through. I moved in with him, I was singing. It wasn't until about a year when the verbal abuse started. And when I say verbal abuse, imagine the worst type of verbal abuse you could ever imagine, and that was what I got.
"It then turned to physical - hitting, throwing, everything. At the pinnacle of it, he dragged me down the stairs of our house on Los Feliz. My face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this.”
In a statement given to People at the time, Bell denied all the allegations. Back in 2015, Bell was arrested for a DUI with a bail set at $20,000. For that case, the actor pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor and spent four days in jail. In the month of February 2021, French actor, Gérard Depardieu was charged with rape and sexual assault in a similar incident.
Bell starred in Nickelodeon’s 'Drake & Josh' alongside Josh Peck from 2004 to 2007. The show, which also created three TV movies, was one of Nickelodeon’s highest-rated programs, averaging about three million viewers at the time. Bell performed the show’s opening theme song, 'I Found a Way,' and released several albums throughout his music career, including 'Telegraph,' in 2005, 'It’s Only Time, in 2006, 'Ready Steady Go!' in 2014 and 'Sesiones En Casa' in 2020.