Cheer star Jerry Harris sentenced to 12 years in youngster pornography case
A federal decide Wednesday sentenced Jerry Harris, a former star of the Netflix documentary collection Cheer, to 12 years in jail for coercing teenage boys to ship him obscene pictures and movies of themselves and soliciting intercourse from minors at cheerleading competitions.
U.S. District Decide Manish Shah additionally ordered that the sentence be adopted by eight years of court-supervised launch.
Shah informed Harris to contemplate the sentence an “expression of the seriousness of your crimes, tempered with some hope that every one will not be misplaced for you or on your victims, and that sooner or later some therapeutic can happen.”
Harris, 22, of suburban Naperville, Unwell., pleaded responsible earlier this 12 months to 1 rely every of receiving youngster pornography and travelling with the intention to interact in unlawful sexual conduct.
A prosecutor had requested for a sentence of 15 years adopted by 10 years of supervised launch whereas attorneys for Harris sought a sentence of six years and eight years of supervised launch.
Harris apologized to victims
Earlier than studying his sentence, Harris apologized to his victims, saying, “I’m deeply sorry for all of the trauma my abuse has precipitated you. I pray deep down that your struggling involves an finish.”
“I am not an evil particular person,” Harris stated. “I am nonetheless studying who I’m and what my goal is.”
Harris has been in custody at a federal detention facility.
Sarah Klein, a lawyer for 2 of the victims, issued a press release saying Harris’s guilt was “firmly established.”
“The sentence he obtained displays the severity of his crimes and the lifetime of ache his victims will endure,” Klein stated.
Arrested on youngster pornography costs in 2020
Harris was arrested in September 2020 on a cost of manufacturing of kid pornography. Prosecutors alleged on the time that he solicited movies and pictures from two 14-year-old brothers.
In line with a criticism, federal prosecutors stated that Harris admitted to repeatedly asking a minor teen for pornographic movies and pictures between December 2018 and March 2020.
Then in December of that 12 months, he was indicted on extra costs alleging misconduct in Illinois, Florida and Texas. In line with the indictment, Harris allegedly solicited intercourse from minors at cheerleading competitions and satisfied teenage boys to ship him obscene images and movies of themselves.
Harris admitted to FBI brokers to asking a teenage boy to ship him lewd images of himself, and to requesting youngster pornography on Snapchat from a minimum of 10 to fifteen others he knew to be minors, in response to the indictment.
Cheer was an enormous success when it was launched in January 2020 and Harris grew to become wildly widespread for his upbeat perspective and his encouraging “mat discuss.” Harris even interviewed celebrities on the pink carpet on the Academy Awards for The Ellen DeGeneres Present.
The docuseries follows the aggressive cheerleading squad from Navarro School in Corsicana, Texas.