Jerry Harris

‘Cheer' Star Jerry Harris to Remain in Custody on Child Porn Charge For Now

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Jerry Harris, star of the Netflix docuseries "Cheer," appeared in court via telephone on a child pornography charge Monday and will remain in custody for now.

Harris will remain in U.S. Marshal custody after he waived his detention hearing until he can find a suitable home should he be released. He also waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Harris was arrested Thursday morning and charged with one count of production of child pornography, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Joe Fitzpatrick said.

According to a criminal complaint, the 21-year-old Naperville resident is 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 to the attorney's office.

Harris was ordered held without bail on Thursday ahead of Monday's detention hearing. His attorney reportedly plans to ask a federal judge to release Harris from custody pending trial, likely on the grounds that his asthma makes it unsafe for him to remain in custody due to the threat of the coronavirus.

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 last week.

According to attorney John Manly, 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.

“My clients’ mother found inappropriate texts from Mr. Harris on the child’s phone, involving sex,” Manly said.

Harris was a fan favorite of “Cheer,” which followed the cheerleaders of Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, as they prepared for a national competition. Manly says Harris met his clients through the world of cheerleading.

Harris’ attorney issued a statement denying the allegations.

“(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 says 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. Harris' attorney has not immediately responded to a request for comment on Thursday's arrest.

Navarro Cheer tweeted early Friday morning that it was "devastated by this shocking, unexpected news."

"Our children must be protected from abuse & exploitation, & we are praying hard for the victims and everyone affected," the tweet read. "Please respect our privacy as our family mourns together."

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