‘Cheer’ star Jerry Harris charged with production of child porn

According to the official complaint, 'Cheer' star Jerry Harris allegedly admitted to federal agents that he sought sex from minors.

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Cheer star Jerry Harris has been arrested and charged with production of child pornography, soliciting pornographic videos and images of minors and soliciting sex from a minor.

Harris, born Jeremiah Harris, who came to fame on the Netflix docuseries about competitive cheerleading, was taken into custody on Thursday in Chicago, CNN reports. The alleged victim is a 13-year-old boy.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Fitzpatrick told CNN that Harris, 21, will appear in a federal Chicago court later this afternoon. A raid was previously executed on his home in Naperville, Illinois.

Oprah's 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus Tour Opening Remarks - Dallas, TX
Oprah Winfrey speaks with the cast of Netflix’s “Cheer”, (L-R) Monica Aldama, Jerry Harris, Gabi Butler, Lexi Brumback, TT Barker and Dillon Brandt during Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour presented by WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined) at American Airlines Center on February 15, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)

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Earlier in the week, the breakout star was sued in Texas for sexual exploitation by two alleged victims who were 13 and 14. They claim Harris “exploited his popularity and position of fame with young male cheer athletes” during the distribution of Cheer and was aware of their ages. The lawsuit also contends that Harris sent “sexually explicit photos and videos of himself to Plaintiffs.”

Earlier this week, Harris denied the accusations in a statement made through a spokesperson.

“We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager,” the statement read. “We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”

However, according to the official complaint, Harris admitted that he did solicit inappropriate images from the minors and wanted sex.

The investigation revealed that in 2018, Harris sought sexually explicit videos and photographs from a 13-year-old boy via Snapchat. The victim says that he told Harris how old he was. The complaint alleges that Harris acknowledged communicating with the boy to produce photos and video and with “ten to fifteen” other boys on Snapchat who he knew to be minors.

As theGrio reported, the allegations against Harris were brought to light this past summer after authorities were notified about inappropriate communications between Harris and minors.

Read More: ‘Cheer’ star Jerry Harris allegedly solicited minors for sex, under FBI investigation

Varsity’s chief legal officer, Burton Brillhart, stated in an August letter that the company became aware of “inappropriate sexual conduct” and reported the accusations as mandated by the law. Some of the evidence offered included Snapchat screenshots where Harris allegedly wrote “Hey btw I found a place for us to do stuff it’s actually pretty good haha,” as well as a series of text messages.

The United States All Star Federation (USASF) and Varsity Spirit and Cheer Athletics were also named in the lawsuit that was filed. They are accused of failing “to implement reasonable safeguards,” for the minors against any abuse while in their care.

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