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‘Cheer’ Star Jerry Harris Pleads Not Guilty To Seven Child Sex-Related Charges
Jeremiah “Jerry” Harris is accused of soliciting sexually explicit images from minors and attempting to engage in sexual activity with an underage victim.
‘Cheer’ Star Jeremiah “Jerry” Harris entered a not guilty plea this week to seven charges of soliciting sex from minors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Fitzpatrick confirmed to Oxygen.com that the 21-year-old pleaded not guilty Thursday to 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 travel for the purpose of engaging in a sex act with a minor.
Fitzpatrick said the reality star did not physically appear in court to submit the plea.
The seven-count federal indictment filed in the U.S. District Court in Northern Illinois and obtained by Oxygen.com was made public last week and included new allegations that the reality star had enticed minors to engage in sexual activity.
Authorities allege that Harris asked minors to send him sexually explicit photos and video of themselves and in one instance traveled to Florida with the intention of having sex with a 15-year-old, according to the indictment.
These newest federal charges involve incidents with four minors beginning in August 2017 and continuing until August of this year.
Harris was first arrested in September on one federal pornography charge after authorities said he “repeatedly” tried to entice a young boy to send sexually explicit photos and videos to him, according to a statement from The United States Attorney’s Office of The Northern District Of Illinois.
The boy—who was just 13 years old at the time of the initial encounter—told authorities that from December 2018 to March 2020 he had sent “over a dozen photographs and videos” that were sexually explicit in nature to Harris at his request, according to a criminal complaint in the case.
Authorities said the reality star also sent the young teen a video of him masturbating and photos of his genitals. The 13-year-old also told investigators that Harris had tried to solicit oral sex from him in a bathroom at a cheerleading event, according to the complaint.
Harris allegedly admitted during an interview with law enforcement officials to asking the boy to take the sexually explicit photos and videos and engaging in Snapchat conversations with the teen where he continued to ask for similar images, the complaint stated.
The boy’s twin brother also told authorities that Harris had asked him for nude photos of himself and would get “pushy” and make him feel guilty after he declined to provide any images.
At the time of his September arrest, a spokesperson for the reality star denied the allegations against him.
“We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager,” the statement read, according to US Weekly. “We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”
According to his twin accusers, who have filed a lawsuit against him in Texas, Harris had been 19 during their contact with him.
Harris rose to fame as part of the popular Netflix series “Cheer,” which followed the Navarro College cheerleading squad in Texas.