Jerry Harris, one of the stars from the Netflix series Cheer, has pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography and soliciting sex from minors.
During a change of plea hearing in a Chicago federal court yesterday (February 10), Harris admitted to one count of travelling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a 15-year-old and one count of receiving child abuse images from a 17-year-old.
Harris, 22, pleaded guilty to two of the seven felony counts against him. Prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining five counts under a plea agreement.
Harris was arrested in September 2020 on a charge of production of child abuse imagery. According to a complaint, prosecutors said that Harris admitted to repeatedly asking a young teen for videos and images between December 2018 and March 2020.
He was later accused of additional charges alleging misconduct in Illinois, Florida and Texas. According to the indictment, Harris admitted to exchanging lewd pictures with 10-15 children that he knew to be minors.
The child pornography charge carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 20, while the second charge of illicit sexual conduct carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. Harris is due to be sentenced on June 28.
Cheer is a documentary series which follows the journey of a competitive cheerleading squad from Navarro College in Texas as they look to win a national title.
The show’s second season, which released last month, features an episode titled ‘Jerry’ which addresses the investigation into Harris.
In the episode, twin boys who identified as Harris’ victims described their hesitancy to speak out. One of the boys explained that he decided to take action after watching a campaign chat that then-presidential candidate Joe Biden had with Harris in 2020.
The boy said: “I want to show to the world, give people a face to, when they think of Jerry Harris, what he did.”