Jerry Harris, who rose to fame starring in the Netflix docuseries “Cheer,” has just been hit with seven new sex crime and child pornography charges.
The new indictment against Harris, 21 comes three months after he was arrested on a federal child pornography charge, according to Fox News. In the indictment, prosecutors have given Harris seven additional charges, four of which claim that he knowingly used, persuaded, induced and enticed a minor to “engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of transmitting a live visual depiction of such conduct.”
On top of that, Harris has been charged with knowingly persuading, inducing and enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity. Finally, he was charged with knowingly receiving and attempting to receive child pornography, including the use of a “computer,” as well as traveling “in interstate commerce, from Texas to Florida, for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct.”
Two of Harris’ victims, who are brothers, issued a brief statement to the Chicago Tribune on Friday.
“This was made possible because our clients’ mother initially had the courage to report Harris to the FBI and provided evidentiary proof of the manipulation, sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation that her sons had suffered,” they said in a statement through their attorneys.
While Harris has not responded to the latest charges, a spokesperson defended him back in September just before his arrest.
“We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager,” the spokesperson told TMZ. “We are confident that when the investigation is complete the true facts will be revealed.”
Netflix also released a statement at the time, saying, “Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process.”
Harris was arrested after the FBI carried out a search of his home in Naperville, Illinois. He had become famous back in January when he appeared in “Cheer,” a show that follows the competitive cheer squad at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, as they mount up for a national championship.
Entertainment Tonight reported that the production of child pornography is punishable by a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years. If Harris is convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
This piece originally appeared in UpliftingToday.com and is used by permission.
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