Jerry Harris: 'Cheer' star allegedly enticed boy, 13, to send him nudes, gets arrested for producing child porn

According to the charges, Harris contacted the male victim on Snapchat and repeatedly enticed him to produce sexually explicit videos and photos


                            Jerry Harris: 'Cheer' star allegedly enticed boy, 13, to send him nudes, gets arrested for producing child porn
(Getty Images)
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Jeremiah ‘Jerry’ Harris, one of the students featured in Netflix's breakout docuseries ‘Cheer’, has been arrested on a "production of child pornography" charge, according to Assistant US Attorney Joseph Fitzpatrick. Harris allegedly enticed a 13-year-old boy to send sexually explicit videos and photos of himself.

Per reports, Harris is scheduled to appear at the Dirksen US Courthouse on the afternoon of Thursday, September 17. According to the charges, Harris contacted the male victim on Snapchat in 2018 and repeatedly enticed him to produce sexually explicit videos and photographs of himself and send them to Harris. The minor victim informed Harris during their initial online encounter that he was 13 years old, the complaint stated.

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When the victim’s parent discovered some of the images on the boy’s cell phone and confronted him, he said that Harris had also solicited oral sex from him in a bathroom at a cheerleading event they both attended, according to the charges. Harris also sought a second in-person sexual encounter at a different competition, according to the complaint.

Earlier this week, the 21-year-old celebrity cheerleader was accused of child sexual exploitation and abuse in a lawsuit filed in Texas by an attorney representing two 'victims'. The two victims reportedly accused him of “sexual harassment, exploitation, manipulation, intimidation and sexual abuse”. A spokesperson for Harris told CNN at the time, "we categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager. We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed."

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Separately, the allegations were also reported to authorities by Varsity, the global authority of competitive cheerleading. The FBI raided Harris' home in a gated community in the 2600 block of Evercrest Court in Naperville, Illinois, on Monday, September 14. According to The Chicago Tribune, Harris then admitted to agents during an interview that he had solicited lewd images and sex from the boy on numerous occasions, according to the complaint.

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The complaint stated Harris also admitted to soliciting and receiving child pornography on Snapchat from “at least between 10 to 15 other individuals he knew were minors.” The charges include numerous screenshots from the phone of the first victim, who has been identified as Minor 1 in the complaint. These include nude images purportedly demanded by Harris of the boy doing a cheerleading move called “the Needle”. Another screenshot contained a message allegedly sent by Harris where he apologized for his behavior. “I’m sorry for what I’ve done in the past,” the message read. “I don’t think it’s a good idea we be friends on Snap.” Harris was 19 at the time of the alleged incidents.

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Harris was born in Hinsdale and raised in Bolingbrook, and rose to fame on ‘Cheer’, a docuseries that follows the competitive cheerleading squad at Navarro College in Texas, which premiered in January. Harris graduated in 2017 from Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, where he was a standout student, and studied at Navarro.  ‘Cheer’ recently won two Emmy Awards and is nominated for "outstanding unstructured reality program", which will be announced during the last night of the virtual Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

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