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Former Nickelodeon star and singer Drake Bell is facing multiple charges in Ohio after prosecutors alleged that he “violated his duty of care” with a 15-year-old girl who had come to his concert in 2017.
Bell, who is referred to in court documents by his legal first name, Jared, is facing charges of attempted endangering of children and disseminating material harmful to juveniles in relation to an incident in Ohio on Dec. 1, 2017, according to CBS News.
Bell pleaded not guilty to the charges on Thursday before being released on $2,500 bond.
Tyler Sinclair, the public information officer for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, told the news outlet that the charges stem from allegations made by a juvenile who attended one of his concerts.
Cleveland Police allege that Bell had established a relationship with the girl several years before the concert and had sent her “inappropriate social media messages” for “months leading up to the concert,” authorities said.
Prosecutors said that while at the concert Bell — then 31 years old — had "violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim,” local station WJW reports.
The 15-year-old filed a police report in Canada, where she lived, in October 2018. Authorities there then contacted police in Cleveland, who launched the investigation into the allegation.
During his court appearance on Thursday, Bell agreed not to have any contact with his accuser; he was also ordered to submit a DNA specimen.
Bell’s attorneys have declined to comment on the case.
“All the facts will be revealed in the courtroom. There is no additional comment at this time,” his attorneys told CNN.
Bell rose to fame while appearing on the Nickelodeon sitcom “Drake and Josh,” which ran from 2004 to 2007. The show focused on two stepbrothers with opposite personalities. In the years since the show ended, Bell has continued acting and voiceover work while he has released several albums.
Bell made headlines last year when his ex-girlfriend, Melissa Lingafelt, accused him of being verbally and physically abusive during their relationship. He denied the claims at the time.
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