Jerry Harris, former “Cheer” star, sentenced to 12 years in federal jail for intercourse crimes

Former “Cheer” star Jerry Harris was sentenced to 12 years in federal jail on Wednesday after pleading responsible to intercourse crimes involving minors, CBS Chicago stories. He will even spend eight years on court-supervised launch.

Harris pleaded responsible in February to a baby pornography cost after persuading a minor to ship him sexually specific pictures in alternate for cash. He additionally pleaded responsible to a cost of touring for illicit intercourse with minors, stemming from a visit he took to Florida for the aim of “partaking in illicit sexual conduct” with a 15-year-old, The Related Press stories. 

Jerry Harris attends the Construct Sequence to debate “Cheer” on January 29, 2020, in New York Metropolis.

Jim Spellman/Getty Photos

A plea settlement led prosecutors to drop 5 different federal counts introduced in opposition to Harris.

The 22-year-old has been held in a federal detention facility with out bond since he was arrested in September 2020. 

Born Jeremiah Harris, he rose to fame when he and his teammates had been featured within the Emmy-winning docuseries “Cheer,” which follows the lives of the Navarro cheer squad. Harris even attended the Academy Awards in 2020 as a persona for “The Ellen DeGeneres Present.”

Nevertheless, following a prolonged FBI investigation, he was arrested in September 2020 and charged with one rely of manufacturing youngster pornography. 

The federal grievance alleged Harris contacted a minor in 2018 and requested “face” and “booty” photos, even after the minor advised him he was 13 years previous. Within the grievance, the minor mentioned he despatched Harris dozens of photographs over greater than a yr. The minor additionally advised investigators that Harris cornered him in a rest room at a cheerleading competitors and tried to solicit him for oral intercourse. 

The minor refused, and Harris allegedly made the identical request at one other competitors three months later. In keeping with the grievance, Harris blocked the minor on Snapchat in February 2020, one month after “Cheer” was launched on Netflix, and despatched him a message saying, “I am sorry for what I’ve finished prior to now. I do not suppose it is a good suggestion that we be pals on snap.” 

A second minor, who’s the primary minor’s twin, additionally accused Harris of requesting nude photographs. 

Within the grievance, investigators mentioned Harris admitted to a number of allegations, together with asking for nude photographs, making an attempt to solicit oral intercourse at cheerleading occasions and receiving youngster pornography from 10 to fifteen different youngsters he knew had been underage. 

In December 2020, Harris was indicted on seven further counts that alleged he solicited intercourse from minors at cheerleading competitions and labored to get younger boys to ship him pictures and movies. 

Within the newest season of “Cheer,” the 2 minors listed within the first federal grievance revealed themselves as twin cheerleaders Charlie and Sam. Each twins described being hesitant to talk out in opposition to Harris due to his rising recognition, however Charlie mentioned that after watching him converse with then-presidential candidate Joe Biden in a June 2020 interview, he “misplaced it” and knew he needed to do one thing. 

“I wish to present to the world, give folks a face to, after they consider Jerry Harris, what he did,” Charlie mentioned. 

“This was not only a handful of occasions that this occurred,” Kristen, Charlie and Sam’s mom, advised CBS Chicago. “He was an extremely persistent predator that pressured himself into the middle of my sons’ lives for over a yr.”

Sarah Klein, a lawyer representing the victims, mentioned that Harris’ sentence “displays the severity of his crimes and the lifetime of ache his victims will endure.”

“Charlie and Sam demonstrated super braveness in sharing their painful experiences with prosecutors and the general public,” Klein added. “Their sacrifice will defend youngsters they’ve by no means met.”   

Harris confronted a most sentence of fifty years in jail. Prosecutors sought a 15-year sentence, whereas attorneys for Harris wished a sentence of six years, based on AP.

Zoe Christen Jones contributed reporting.

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