‘Cheer’ star Jerry Harris sentenced to 12 years in prison for child pornography
Jerry Harris, who starred in the Netflix docuseries “Cheer,” was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison on Wednesday for child pornography, several outlets reported.
Joseph Fitzpatrick, assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, told NBC News that Harris was also sentenced to eight years of court-supervised release, to be completed after his prison term.
The sentencing comes almost two years after the 22-year-old was arrested in September 2020 for one count of producing child pornography after allegedly repeatedly “enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit photos and video of himself.”
The boy, 13 at the time, claimed Harris contacted him on social media and attempted to solicit him for oral sex.
Harris was slapped with new charges in December of that year, including for child pornography and sex crimes, which allegedly involved four victims in Illinois, Florida and Texas. In February, he pleaded guilty to two charges: receiving child pornography and engaging in sexual acts with a minor, CNN reports.
Prior to his arrest, Harris had become a popular figure due to “Cheer,” a show documenting the Navarro College cheerleading team as it navigated the elite ranks of the competitive sport.
“Harris used his celebrity and wealth to continue his exploitation of children, expanding the tools available to him to manipulate them into gratifying his seemingly insatiable sexual desires,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Guzman told USA Today.
The Hill has reached out to Netflix and Navarro Cheer for comment.