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Cheer Star Jerry Harris Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Child Pornography Case

Harris reached a plea deal earlier this year

jerry harris cheer sentenced prison 12 years child pornography guilty minors
Jerry Harris, photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images
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    Jeremiah “Jerry” Harris, star of the Emmy-winning Netflix docuseries Cheer, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison in a child pornography case, multiple outlets report.

    “The sentence is 12 years in prison, to be followed by 8 years of court-supervised release,” Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Joseph D. Fitzpatrick said.

    In December of 2020, Harris, then 21, was accused of soliciting sex with minors, child pornography, and child sexual exploitation relating to interactions with between 10 and 15 boys. Facing a total of seven charges, he reached a deal with prosecutors in February of this year, pleading guilty to one count of receiving child pornography and one count of engaging in sexual acts with a minor. Harris admitted to soliciting and receiving explicit pictures, as well as engaging in interstate travel to meet and have sexual relations with a 15-year-old boy.

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    In pleading guilty, representatives of Harris said “he wishes to take responsibility for his actions and publicly convey his remorse for the harm he has caused the victims in this case.” His lawyers added that he was “himself exploited, manipulated, and sexually abused as a child within the Cheer Community.”

    As a student at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, Harris was one of several students that Netflix followed during Season 1 of Cheer. Season 2 premiered last year, and it not only addressed the charges facing Harris, but also included interviews with two of his accusers.

    Harris is also the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit brought by the parents of Texas twins. The parents say that in 2018, when the boys were 13, Harris requested explicit photographs. The suit is seeking $1 million in damages.

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