Skip to Content

Drake Bell Charged for Crimes Against a Child

Drake Bell of ‘Drake and Josh’ Punished for Crimes Against a Child

Former Nickelodeon TV show star Drake Bell was charged and sentenced on multiple charges involving crimes against a child. These charges followed a years-long relationship between the TV show star and one of his fans, who claims he had started grooming her when she was 12 because she felt protected and admired by Bell through their online chats. However, the victim claims her relationship with Bell took a sexual turn after she turned 15, as he reportedly made uncomfortable remarks, exchanged explicit photos online, and engaged in sexual conduct with her several times. One reported incident of sexual misconduct occurred at a concert venue and hotel in Cleveland, said the victim. Bell’s attorney claims that Bell experienced greater penalties because of his position as a public figure.

That being said, Bell’s charge for attempted child endangerment related to the concert where Bell violated his duty of care by creating a risk of harm to the victim, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson. And his charge for disseminating harmful matter to juveniles resulted from Bell sending “inappropriate social media messages” to the victim.

For background, child endangerment is a fourth-degree felony in California while disseminating harmful matter to juveniles is a first-degree misdemeanor. However, these charges look a little different in Wisconsin. Bell was charged in California for these crimes involving a child, but if the star were facing the same accusations in Wisconsin, he would likely get charged for crimes such as child enticement and exposing a child to harmful material, descriptions, or narrations.

Child Enticement Charges in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, child enticement occurs when a person intentionally causes or attempts to cause a child under 18 to go into a vehicle, building, room, or another secluded place to commits any of the following acts:

  • Have sexual contact or sexual intercourse with the child
  • Cause the child to engage in prostitution
  • Expose genitals, pubic area, or intimate parts to the child or cause the child to expose their genitals, pubic area, or intimate parts
  • Record the child engaging in sexually explicit conduct
  • Cause bodily or mental harm to the child
  • Give or sell to the child a controlled substance or controlled substance analog

Child enticement is a Class D felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and/or $100,000. Since child endangerment in California has similar elements as our state’s child enticement laws, we encourage you to take a look at some examples of child enticement below to get a better idea of the crime:

  • A person takes a child into their vehicle and pressures the child to engage in sexual activities
  • A person harasses a child to ride home with them rather than take the bus and follows the child when they deny the ride
  • A person arranges to privately meet with someone they know to be a child

Charges for Exposing a Child to Harmful Material in WI

Drake Bell was also convicted of disseminating harmful material to a child. In Wisconsin, “harmful material” is defined as:

  • Any picture, photograph, drawing, sculpture, motion picture film or similar visual representation or image of a person or portion of the human body that depicts nudity, sexually explicit conduct, sadomasochistic abuse, physical torture, or brutality and that is harmful to children
  • Any book, pamphlet, magazine, printed matter, or recording that contains content described in the bullet point above or explicit and detailed verbal descriptions/narrative accounts of sexual excitement, sexually explicit conduct, sadomasochistic abuse, physical torture or brutality that, taken as a whole, is harmful to children

Now that you have a better idea of what “harmful material” means, the crime of exposing a child to harmful material occurs when a person knowingly sells, rents, exhibits, plays, distributes, or loans harmful material to a child in a face-to-face interaction who they reasonably should have known is under 18. A conviction for this offense is a Class I felony punishable by 3.5 years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000.

Since Bell got a misdemeanor in CA for disseminating harmful matter to juveniles, however, you should know that it is a Class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin to possess harmful material with the intent to sell, rent, exhibit, play, distribute, or loan it to a child in a face-to-face encounter when the person should reasonably have known the child was under 18. A conviction for a Class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin is penalized by up to 9 months in jail and/or $10,000.

Accused of Crimes Against a Child?

If you are facing accusations of committing any crime against a child, know that the stakes are high. The law provides the utmost protection for children, which is why defendants often get the harshest penalties when convicted of crimes against children. That being said, you will benefit from the assistance of a former prosecutor with over two decades of experience defending people in your shoes. Our lawyer knows how both sides of the justice system operate and can work for reduced or dismissed charges much more effectively with his invaluable insights.

Wait no longer to fight for your freedom. To get started, contact us online or at (414) 882-8382!