‘Cheer’ star Jerry Harris arrested, charged in child porn case

News

Jerry Harris (Getty)

(NEXSTAR) — “Cheer” star Jerry Harris was arrested Thursday and charged in federal court with the production of child pornography.

The 21-year-old cheerleader is accused of enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself, according to a news release.

“The minor victim informed Harris during their initial online encounter that he was 13 years old,” according to a criminal complaint.

A lawsuit was filed Monday against Harris, with twin boys in Texas saying he sent them sexually explicit photos and videos of himself beginning when they were 13. 

USA TODAY reported Monday that the FBI was investigating accusations that Harris solicited sexually explicit photos and sex from minors. The newspaper was the first to report the allegations.

The boys’ mother reported Harris to the FBI last month, according to the lawsuit against Harris and three cheer organizations.

USA Today reported the FBI investigation is based on separate allegations passed along to police by Varsity, a company hosts competitions and sells cheerleading apparel.

“We are grateful that the U.S. Attorney and the FBI have taken swift action to protect children by investigating, arresting and charging Jerry Harris,” said attorney Sarah Klein, of Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, who is representing the family. “This was made possible because our clients’ mother had the courage to report Harris to the FBI as well as the Fort Worth Police Department and provided evidentiary proof of the manipulation, sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation that her sons had suffered.”

Production of child pornography carries a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.

Harris gained national attention when he was featured in the Netflix docuseries “Cheer,” which received six Emmys nominations after its debut in January 2020.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

WATE 6 Storm Weather School

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter