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Drake Bell charged with attempted child endangerment, pleads not guilty

The alleged incident happened in December 2017, according to court records.
2017 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet
Drake Bell attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on Aug. 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California.Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell pleaded not guilty to two counts of crimes against children in Ohio's Cuyahoga County Court on Thursday.

Bell, 34, who rose to fame as a teenager on the show "Drake and Josh," is charged with one count of attempted child endangerment — a fourth degree felony — and one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles— a first degree misdemeanor, officials confirmed.

The court docket, which uses Bell's legal first name, Jared, lists the offense date as December 1, 2017.

Friday afternoon, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office told TODAY that a female juvenile victim, 15, filed a report with her local police department in Canada in October 2018. She said the incident happened between her and Bell the previous year at a Cleveland nightclub.

"(An) investigation revealed that the victim, who had established a relationship with Bell several years prior, attended his concert in December 2017," Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement. "While there, Bell violated his duty of care and, in doing so, created a risk of harm to the victim. The investigation also revealed that months leading up to the concert, Bell sent the victim inappropriate social media messages."

At the hearing on Thursday, Bell was released on a $2,500 bond and was ordered to submit a DNA sample to the Sheriff's Office within the next 24 hours, which is a standard court procedure.

Drake Bell in a blue suit looks at the camera for a mug shot with a slight smirk on his face
Drake Bell in a mug shot provided by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office.Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office

Bell's representative did not respond to TODAY's request for comment.

Bell's attorney Ian Friedman, was not available for comment, however when reached by phone at the law office, a representative told TODAY that Friedman will not be commenting on the case. Bell is next scheduled to appear in court on June 23 at 12 p.m. for a pre-trial hearing, according to the docket.

The actor and musician starred in four seasons of the Nickelodeon show "Drake and Josh," which ran from 2004 to 2007. The hit sitcom followed the adventures of the title characters, who were stepbrothers. Bell also performed the show's theme song, "I Found A Way," and has released several albums and toured as a musician.

His most recent album "Sesiones En Casa," which translates from Spanish to English as "Sessions at House" was released last year. Bell has been active on social media this week, sharing concert videos and encouraging fans to order a Cameo video from him, however he has yet to comment on the charges.