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'Cheer' Star Jerry Harris Expected To Plead Guilty In Sex Crimes Case
Jerry Harris has been accused of soliciting sexually explicit images and video from minor victims and traveling to Florida with the intention of having sex with a 15-year-old boy.
"Cheer" Star Jerry Harris is expected to plead guilty Thursday in a federal case alleging that he solicited sex and naked photos from underage teenage boys.
A change of plea hearing is set for Thursday afternoon in a U.S. District Court in Chicago, although it’s not clear what charges Harris might plead guilty to or whether a plea deal has been reached in the sex crimes case, according to court documents obtained by The Chicago Tribune.
Harris—who rose to fame on the popular Netflix series “Cheer”—has remained in federal detention since October of 2020 when a judge ruled the evidence against him “overwhelmingly supports detention,” The Chicago Sun Times reports.
Harris was initially charged with one count of production of child pornography after authorities from the Department of Justice said he “repeatedly” tried to entice a 13-year-old boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photographs of himself and send them to Harris.
Authorities tacked on another seven counts—including four counts of production of child pornography, one count of receipt of child pornography, one count of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and one count of traveling for the purpose of engaging in a sex act with a minor—later that year after new allegations surfaced against the reality star.
Harris pleaded not guilty to charges against him in December of 2020.
Authorities say Harris solicited sexually explicit images and video from multiple minor victims and even once traveled to Florida with the intention of having sex with a 15-year-old, according to an indictment previously obtained by Oxygen.com.
The allegations first came to light after the 13-year-old victim’s mother allegedly discovered the images in a “my eyes only” folder on Snapchat and confronted her son, who admitted to sending “over a dozen photographs and videos” of himself to Harris for more than year, according to a criminal complaint.
The photos included images of the young boy “naked and stretching, doing cheer poses and/or showing his anus to the camera,” authorities said.
The teen later told authorities that Harris, who he said had “constantly requested” the images, also sent the 13-year-old a video of himself masturbating and photos of his genitals and once tried to solicit oral sex from the teen in a bathroom at a cheerleading event, according to the compliant.
The teen refused and returned to practice, but authorities said several months later Harris tried to arrange another meeting.
“I found a place for us to do stuff it’s actually pretty good haha,” he wrote, according to the complaint.
The teen responded “i can’t sorry.”
Harris was arrested in September 2020 after the FBI raided his Naperville home. He allegedly admitted in an interview with law enforcement authorities that he had asked the boy to take sexually explicit photos and videos of himself and asked for similar images in Snapchat conversations with the teen, authorities said.
Before his arrest, Harris had been a member of the Navarro College competitive cheerleading squad in Texas. The squad is featured on the Emmy-winning reality series, “Cheer.”