Firefighter accused of sex with teen pleads guilty to child porn

Clem Bell in court

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich–  A firefighter accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl has pleaded guilty to several child pornography charges.

Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson confirmed to FOX 17, during a status conference on Monday, Clem Bell pleaded guilty to using a computer to commit a crime, possession of child sexually abusive material and promoting child sexually abusive activity.

Two other child pornography charges against Bell were dropped.

Bell was arrested in January, after investigators found child porn on his computer at the Cascade Township Fire Department.

Investigators say Bell had sex with a 16-year-old girl who was part of the department’s Explorers Program and exchanged sexually-charged photos with her, saving them on his device for future use.

Bell resigned from the department following his arrest.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced on June 15th.

Clem Bell is one of two firefighters from the Cascade Township Fire Department facing criminal charges.

Steven Drake

Police say Steve Drake, who was an on-call firefighter for the department, had sex with the same 16-year-old girl and exchanged lewd photos with her as well.

Because the age of consent in Michigan is 16, Drake was not charged with criminal sexual conduct. He was arraigned on two counts of sexually abusive material/activity and two counts of using a computer to commit a crime.

The department’s Explorers Program was disbanded following the men’s arrests.

In March, the department’s Deputy Chief John Shipley was fired and Chief John Sigg retired. The men cited an investigation that found a lack of procedure and policies in the fire department that led to them both losing their jobs.

Shipley will continue to serve as a trustee in Cascade Township, a role he says won’t be impacted by his termination from the fire department.

 

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