‘Cheer’ star Jerry Harris to remain in federal custody

Chicago News

CHICAGO — A federal court hearing was held Monday for the star of the Netflix series “Cheer”, who was arrested on charges of child pornography and soliciting sex from minors.

Attorneys asked the judge to keep Jerry Harris, who appeared by telephone, in federal custody until suitable arrangements can be made for him to stay, if he is released.

Harris, 21, was arrested last week after FBI agents raided his home in Naperville. He is charged with one count of producing child pornography. 

Harris is accused of soliciting sexually explicit videos and pictures from twin teenage boys, one of whom sent Harris that content on social media. 

Prosecutors said Harris first contacted one of the boys when he was 13, with Instagram messages show Harris asking the boy for pictures of his face and “booty.”

The two had later exchanged graphic videos and photos on Snapchat.

The boy’s mother found text messages in February of this year where Harris apologized to the boy and suggested that they stop contacting one another. Eventually, the boy’s mother found the pornographic videos and photos and contacted police.

Harris’ attorney argues that he was a teenager himself, but still an adult when the contact began with the boy.

The criminal complaint alleges Harris also tried to arrange private meetings with the boys at cheer competitions. 

Federal prosecutors contend that Harris poses a danger to the community if he is released from custody. 

Last week, a child sexual abuse lawsuit was filed against Harris and the organizations that oversee and promote cheer competitions. 

No date was set for another hearing to possibly have Harris released on bond. If found guilty on this one count, Harris faces between 15 and 30 years in federal prison. 

Harris was the breakout star of the show that followed the cheerleading team from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, as it sought a national title.

Netflix released the following statement:

“Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process.” 

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