Jerry Harris

‘Cheer' Star Jerry Harris Faces New Child Pornography, Sex Crime Charges

Harris was arrested and charged with one count of production of child pornography in September

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Federal prosecutors filed several new sex crime and child pornography charges against Netflix "Cheer" star Jerry Harris Thursday nearly three months after the FBI arrested the 21-year-old for production of child pornography, according to court documents.

An indictment filed with the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois revealed Harris was charged with seven different crimes relating to five minors.

Federal prosecutors charged Harris with four counts of knowingly using, persuading, inducing and enticing a minor to "engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct, and for the purpose of transmitting a live visual depiction of such conduct."

The 21-year-old has also been accused of using the internet to knowingly persuade, induce and entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, as well as knowingly receiving and attempting to receive child pornography, the indictment revealed.

Additionally, the former "Cheer" star faces a charge of traveling in interstate commerce, from Texas to Florida, for the purpose of "engaging in illicit sexual conduct."

On Oct. 16, U.S. District Court Judge Heather McShane ruled Harris should remain in federal custody until his trial on the initial production of child pornography charge, calling him a "clear and present danger to the community, most notable defenseless children."

According to a previous criminal complaint, the 21-year-old Naperville resident was accused of "enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself." The boy the complaint refers to was 13 at the time, according attorneys.

Prosecutors then said Harris "targeted young boys by reaching into their bedrooms through his cell phone and used guilt, threats and money to persuade them to engage in sexually explicit activity."

Jerry Harris, star of the Netflix docuseries "Cheer," was ordered held without bail until at least Monday, when he is expected to appear in court for a detention hearing after being arrested on a child pornography charge, a judge ordered Thursday. NBC 5's Natalie Martinez reports.

Harris had been facing accusations of sexual misconduct after being named in a sexual exploitation lawsuit in mid-September.

Two children filed a federal lawsuit against Harris and the United States All-Star Federation, a cheerleading organization, saying that Harris “tried to engage” the boys in sex, said the plaintiffs' attorney, John Manly.

Harris was a fan favorite of “Cheer,” which followed the cheerleaders of Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, as they prepared for a national competition.

Todd Pugh, Harris’ attorney, previously issued a statement denying the allegations in the lawsuit, but no statements have been made regarding the criminal charges.

“(We) categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager,” the attorney said. “We are confident that when the investigation is completed, the true facts will be revealed.”

Naperville resident Jerry Harris, known from the Netflix series "Cheer," is facing accusations of sexual misconduct after being named in a sexual exploitation lawsuit. NBC 5's Christian Farr reports.

Manly said that Harris was legally an adult when the alleged texts occurred.

“He was an adult during this, and took advantage of these children,” he said. “Frankly, it is my clients’ hope that he goes to jail for what he did.”

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, production of child pornography charges carry a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, if convicted.

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