On Monday, Judge Timothy McCormick of Ohio's Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court sentenced Bell, to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service as part of a plea deal over child endangerment charges relating to an incident in December 2017.
During Bell's sentencing, McCormick declared that the 35-year-old "did take advantage" of the then-15-year-old victim.
"You were able to gain access to this child and you were able to gain the trust of the child," the judge asserted, as reported by People. "So it's a two-edged sword, your position. I hope you truly are remorseful, I don't know [if you are]."
"Today I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong. I’m sorry that the victim was harmed in any way — that was obviously not my intention," the 35-year-old said in a statement. "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."
Ian Friedman, Bell's attorney, also emphasized via statement that, despite the charges his client pleaded guilty to, "sexual registration was not imposed." Instead of denying the victim's claims, Friedman said that her allegations lacked "supporting evidence."
Statement on behalf of Drake Bell by Attorneys Ian Friedman and Madelyn Grant: pic.twitter.com/tYG7Rb7hhz— Ian Friedman (@IanNFriedman) July 12, 2021
However, testimony provided by the victim, who is now 19 years old, told a darker story of Bell, whom she said is the "epitome of evil."
"He was calculating. He preyed on me and sexually abused me," she told the court in a pre-written statement via Zoom, noting that he sent her pictures of his genitalia. "He is a monster and a danger to children."
She also labeled the 35-year-old a "coward" for opting to virtually attend court, rather than appearing in person.
"Jared Drake Bell is a pedophile and that is his legacy," she asserted.