Jerry Harris sentenced to 12 years in prison


A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced Jerry Harris, the former star of the Netflix documentary series “Cheer,” to 12 years in prison for forcing teenage boys to send him obscene photos and videos of himself. close and solicit sexual relations from minors at cheerleading competitions.

U.S. District Judge Manish Shah also ordered that the sentence be followed after eight years of court-supervised release.

Shah told Harris to treat the sentence as an “expression of the seriousness of your crime, tempered with some hope that all is not lost to you or to your victim, and that in the future some healing may occur.”

Harris, 22, of Naperville, pleaded guilty earlier this year to receiving child pornography and traveling with the intent to commit illegal sex acts.

A prosecutor asked for a 15-year sentence followed by 10 years of supervised release while lawyers for Harris asked for a sentence of six years and eight years of supervised release.

Before learning of her sentence, Harris apologized to her victims, saying: “I am deeply sorry for all the hurt my abuse has caused you.

“I’m not a bad guy,” Harris said. “I’m still figuring out who I am and what my purpose is.”

Harris was detained in a federal detention facility.

Sarah Klein, an attorney for two of the victims, released a statement saying Harris’ guilt “is firmly established.”

“The sentence he received reflects the seriousness of his crimes and the lifelong pain his victims will have to endure,” Klein said.

Harris was arrested in September 2020 on charges of producing child pornography. At the time, prosecutors alleged that he solicited videos and photos from two 14-year-old brothers.

According to the complaint, federal prosecutors say Harris admitted to repeatedly asking a minor to provide sexually explicit videos and images between December 2018 and March 2020.

Later in December of that year, he was charged with additional misconduct charges in Illinois, Florida and Texas. According to the indictment, Harris is accused of sexually soliciting minors at cheerleading competitions and persuading teenage boys to send him obscene photos and videos of themselves.

According to the indictment, Harris admitted to FBI agents asking a teenage boy to send him sexually explicit pictures of himself and asking to photograph child pornography on Snapchat of at least 10 to 15 other people. whom he knows is a minor.

“Cheer” was a huge hit when it was released in January 2020, and Harris has become immensely popular for his upbeat attitude and encouraging “bed talk”. Harris even interviewed celebrities on the red carpet at the Academy Awards for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

Competitive cheerleading track documents from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas.

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