Federal prosecutors allege that “Cheer” star Jerry Harris is a “sexual predator” who victimized at least 10 boys as they argue to keep him behind bars until his trial.
Harris, 21, was arrested last month “on a federal child pornography charge for allegedly enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself,” a press release from an Illinois division of the U.S. Attorney's office stated. The alleged victim in that case was just 13 years old.
Now federal prosecutors claim that Harris, a breakout star in Netflix’s popular docuseries that chronicled the Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team as they prepared for the National Cheerleading Championship, victimized at least nine other boys.
In a motion for pretrial detention filed Tuesday, prosecutors allege Harris "exploited and violated at least ten minor boys by repeatedly requesting the boys send him sexually explicit images of themselves." They claim he intended to meet all the victims in person. Harris allegedly sexually assaulted one minor boy at a 2019 cheer event and then tried to do the same at another event, according to a criminal complaint filed in September.
Prosecutors describe Harris in the new motion as a "brazen sexual predator" who "used guilt, threats, and money to persuade" boys to engage in sexually explicit activity. They alleges he admitted to victimizing between five and 10 children who "are all forever damaged by his criminal conduct."
Prosecutors call Harris an impulsive and dangerous “serial child predator” in the pretrial document, accusing him of continuing to reach out to victimize boys even after he was aware that he under possible investigation. For that reason, they asked a judge to detain Harris until his trial.
Before Harris was arrested, a pair of underage twins who competed in cheerleading events came forward to accuse Harris of sexual harassment and solicitation in a civil lawsuit and a USA Today report. Their accusations were mirrored in a criminal complaint filed shortly after.
Harris’ lawyer Todd Pugh has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com’s request for comment. He indicated last month he would push for a release of Harris, who is currently still behind bars.
A spokesperson for Harris previously told People, "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."
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