CLEVELAND (AP) — One of the stars of the popular Nickelodeon children
's show "Drake & Josh
" is facing criminal charges in connection with a girl he met online and invited to his 2017 concert in Ohio
when she was 15 years old.
On Thursday, Jared "Drake" Bell, 34, pleaded not guilty in a Cleveland courtroom to a felony charge of attempting to endanger children and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating material harmful to juveniles.
“All facts will be revealed in a courtroom,” Bell’s attorney Ian Friedman said Friday, declining to elaborate.
Bell was charged by information, which typically indicates that a plea agreement has been reached, and he is scheduled to appear in court on June 23.
Tyler Sinclair, a spokesperson for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley, said the girl filed a complaint with Canadian police
in October 2018, prompting an investigation
The attempted endangering children charge stems from the concert, according to Sinclair, where Bell "violated his duty of care" and put the victim in danger.
Sinclair stated that Bell and the girl "developed a relationship" online several years prior to the concert, and that the charge of disseminating harmful material stems from Bell sending the girl "inappropriate social media
Bell, who is also a singer, began acting as a child but rose to fame as a teen with Nickelodeon's "The Amanda Show" and later "Drake & Josh," which debuted in January 2004 and ended in September 2007. Bell and co-star Josh Beck also appeared in two "Drake & Josh" movies