Nickelodeon star Drake Bell swerves jail time in child endangerment case (Image: Cuyahoga County Jail)
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Drake Bell has avoided serving time behind bars in his child endangerment case.
The former child star, who starred in a string of Nickelodeon shows including Drake & Josh, was sentenced to two years of probation at a court in Ohio today.
The 35-year-old will complete his probation in California, where he lives, and will also have to complete 200 hours of community service.
If he gets into trouble with the law during his probation, a judge told him he could be sentenced to up to one year in prison on the felony charge of attempted endangering of a child after he pleaded guilty to exchanging sexual messages with a minor.
Drake Bell has been sentenced to two years probation
(Image: Cuyahoga County Jail)
Bell accepted his punishment and apologised for what he had done, explaining that it was never his intention to cause any harm.
His guilty plea related only to exchanging messages of a sexual nature with a minor.
The actor and singer said he was sorry to the victim and anyone else who was hurt in the matter.
But the woman said Bell had caused her irreparable harm as she gave a victim impact statement over Zoom.
She claimed that she had begun exchanging messages with Bell online in 2017, when she was 15 years old.
Bell is a former child star
(Image: Getty Images)
She says the messages eventually turned sexual in nature and included photos, and that the correspondence all took place over Instagram and Snapchat.
The woman alleged that she went on to attend one of his concerts back then and that afterwards he took her backstage so they could be alone.
She claimed she had performed oral sex on him, but Bell was seen shaking his head during her remarks.
Bell has vehemently denied the woman's accusations that he sent her graphic photographs and that they engaged in sexual misconduct in two separate incidents, things he was never charged with.
Bell was officially charged with attempted endangering of a child earlier this year, although the woman filed her police report back in 2018.
Drake Bell starred with Josh Peck in Drake & Josh
Until now, the nature of messages he was alleged to have shared with the minor were unknown.
Bell originally pleaded not guilty but later changed his plea and acknowledged his actions and the consequences they could hold.
Bell rose to fame when he joined the cast of Amanda Bynes' Nickelodeon programme The Amanda Show.
He went on to star in Drake & Bell alongside Josh Peck and a string of other shows and movies.