Drake Bell Goes Live on Instagram with Son After Getting Probation in Child Endangerment Case
The actor, who last month pleaded guilty to criminal charges involving a minor, was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service
Less than an hour after his virtual court appearance on Monday, the actor and musician went live on Instagram with his son. He sat at the piano with the infant, singing to him and the camera. "Father Son jam sesh," he captioned the video, which has since been posted to his feed.
Bell recorded the Instagram Live from the same location he used to dial into the hearing virtually. He changed from a suit jacket and tie into a more casual shirt.
The five-minute video marks Bell's first social media post of his son after confirming in a June 29 statement, written in Spanish, that he had welcomed a child with his longtime partner Janet Von Schmeling.
"In response to various rumors that are incorrect, I have been married for almost 3 years, and we are blessed to be the parents of a wonderful son. Thank you very much to all my fans around the world for your good wishes," he said at the time.
During the hearing earlier on Monday, the Drake & Josh alum, born Jared Bell, was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service after pleading guilty to criminal charges involving a minor.
Following his arrest, Bell initially pleaded not guilty in June to attempted endangering children, a fourth-degree felony, and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Later that month, he agreed to a plea deal and pleaded guilty to both charges.
Bell is also prohibited from contacting the victim, now 19, who spoke publicly for the first time during Monday's hearing to read a statement in which she called him "a monster" and accused him of grooming her from the age of 12 before allegedly sexually abusing her when she was 15.
"He was calculating. He preyed on me and sexually abused me," she said, alleging that he sent her photos of his genitalia. "He is a monster and a danger to children."
Bell's attorney, Ian Friedman, said during the hearing that his client had "accepted responsibility in this case" via his plea. However, Friedman disputed the victim's claims that she and Bell had exchanged explicit photos, claiming there was no such evidence. Bell was not charged with sexual abuse, and his lawyer denied the victim's allegation that he had engaged in such abuse.
Bell issued his own statement to the judge before receiving his official sentencing. "I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong," he said. "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."
His attorney has since spoken out on Twitter, saying in part, "Drake and his family are relieved to have this matter behind them. He looks forward to, once again, performing for all of his supportive fans around the world."
Tyler Sinclair, the Public Information Officer for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, told PEOPLE on Monday that "the Cleveland Police Department and this office did an extensive investigation into this matter."
"Numerous factors including strength of the evidence were weighed during our plea discussions with defense counsel," Sinclair continued. "The victim was consulted throughout this process and approved of the final outcome."
If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 connected to a certified crisis counselor.