Drake Bell Sings Live on Instagram With His Son After Getting Probation in Child Endangerment Case
By Antoinette Bueno
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Drake Bell appeared to be in good spirits after he was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service on Monday. The former Nickelodeon star went live on Instagram less than an hour after his virtual sentencing, singing a song with his son.
Bell revealed late last month that he's been married for almost three years to his longtime partner Janet Von Schmeling and that they have a son. During his Instagram Live on Monday, which he later shared in a post, 35-year-old Bell played the piano and sang while his son sat on his lap. "Father Son jam sesh," he captioned the video.
Bell was indicted in May and initially pleaded not guilty to two criminal counts of attempted endangering children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, but later changed his plea to guilty. Bell's sentence was handed down during a virtual appearance at a Cleveland court on Monday. According to multiple outlets, in addition to probation and community service hours, the judge ruled that Bell is prohibited from contacting the victim in the case, who met Bell online and attended one of his concerts in Cleveland in 2017, when she was 15 years old.
Bell's attorneys Ian Friedman and Madelyn Grant said in a statement on Monday that Bell and his family were grateful to have the case behind him, and denied some of the victim's allegations.
"Today's plea and sentence reflect conduct for which Mr. Bell did accept responsibility," the statement reads. "The victim's allegations that went beyond that which all parties agreed, not only lack supporting evidence but are contradicted by the facts learned through extensive investigation. As the court made clear, this plea was never about sexual misconduct or sexual relations with any person, let alone a minor. Sexual registration was not imposed as Mr. Bell did not plead guilty to any such offense. Drake and his family are relieved and grateful to have this matter behind them. He looks forward to, once again, performing for all his supportive fans around the world."
Meanwhile, according to multiple outlets, at the start of the hearing, the now 19-year-old victim read a statement in which she referred to Bell as "a pedophile" and a "coward." Per the outlets, Bell gave a statement, too, telling the court, "I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong. I’m sorry that the victim was harmed in any way, but 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."