Cheer star Jerry Harris has pleaded not guilty to several felony charges of sexual misconduct.
The cheerleader and TV personality had been accused of soliciting sex from minors, and has now entered a not guilty plea to a total of seven charges.
Entertainment Tonight reports that a number of legal documents confirm that Harris did not physically appear in court on Thursday (December 17) when entering his plea.
The charges include four counts of sexual exploitation of children, one count of receiving child pornography, one count of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor, and one count of enticement.
Each charge of sexual exploitation carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, and the enticement charge would carry a minimum of 10 years, if Jerry Harris was convicted.
The attorneys for two victims said in a statement: “We are grateful that the U.S. Attorney and the FBI have continued to investigate this case, locate additional victims and take action. This was made possible because our clients’ mother initially had the courage to report Harris to the FBI and provided evidentiary proof of the manipulation, sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation that her sons had suffered.
“We urge the authorities to undertake a thorough investigation of the United States All Star Federation, Varsity Spirit, and Cheer Athletics to determine which of their executives, employees, and representatives could have stopped Harris’ abuse and failed to do so.”
A spokesperson for Harris previously said: “We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager. We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”