Jerry Harris

FBI Seeking Help to Identify Potential Victims of ‘Cheer' Star Jerry Harris, Charged With Child Porn

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The FBI announced Tuesday that it's seeking the public's help in identifying any potential additional victims of Jerry Harris, star of the Netflix docuseries "Cheer" who was arrested last week on a child pornography charge.

Investigators are "specifically seeking individuals who were under the age of 18 when Harris asked them to produce or view sexually graphic images or engage in sexual contact," the FBI said in a statement.

The agency announced a website where victims can find report contact with Harris through an online questionnaire, as well as find resources.

The FBI said contact may have occurred in person or through social media accounts linked to Harris, including the Snapchat username "jerry_714" and the Instagram account " __jcoleofficial."

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, and will remain in U.S. Marshal custody after waiving his detention hearing on Monday until he can find a suitable home, should he be released.

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."

Contact Us