Drake Bell was sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service Tuesday (July 12) after pleading guilty to felony attempted child endangerment and misdemeanor disseminating matter harmful to juveniles charges in late June.
Josh Peck, who co-starred with Bell on Nickelodeon television series Drake & Josh for four seasons from January 2004 to September 2007, addressed the disturbing allegations and aftermath Thursday (July 15).
Bell, 35, initially pleaded not guilty.
"According to prosecutors, the charges stem from an incident at a concert in Cleveland on Dec. 1, 2017," Sarah Bahr of the New York Times relayed June 23. "Mr. Bell, who is also known as Drake Campana, had posted a tweet saying that he had a show scheduled at the Odeon Concert Club there on that date.
"Prosecutors said that Mr. Bell engaged in a conversation with a 15-year-old girl that was at times sexual in nature. An investigation by the Cleveland Police Department also revealed that Mr. Bell had sent the girl inappropriate social media messages in the months before the show, the prosecutors said."
The victim, now 19 years old, emotionally read a statement in court during Bell's sentencing hearing:
Bell can be seen shaking his head and appearing silently shocked through his facial expressions before addressing the judge himself.
"I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong," the actor and singer said. "I'm sorry that the victim was harmed in any way. That was obviously not my intention. 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 hearing included Bell's attorney, Ian Friedman, additionally stated that while Bell "accepted responsibility in this case," some of the victims claims were disputable because there wasn't evidence of exchanged explicit photos (h/t People).
On June 29, Bell revealed in a Spanish-language tweet that he has "been married for almost three years," and they have a son. This came one day after photos of Bell and Janet Von Schmeling wearing wedding rings and pushing a stroller at Disneyland sparked rumors.