Jerry Harris Child Porn Charges: Netflix's 'Cheer' Star Arrested

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Jerry Harris Child Porn Charges: Netflix's 'Cheer' Star Arrested
Entertainment And News

Jeremiah "Jerry" Harris became a superstar after his big breakthrough on the hit Netflix docuseries, Cheer. His eccentric, kind personality endeared him to cheerleading fans all over the world, and he became almost a cult-like celebrity. 

Today, however, it was revealed that he's been arrested by the FBI for a heinous crime. This is shocking, to say the least.

Here's what we know about the FBI's arrest of Jerry Harris's child porn charges:

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After an investigation, Jerry Harris was charged with producing child pornography. 

While a spokeswoman for the FBI wouldn't comment specifically about the case into Jerry Harris, multiple sources confirmed that the FBI executed a search warrant against the cheerleader. On September 17, 2020, it was revealed that Harris was arrested and charged with federal child pornography charges. Specifically, the 21-year-old is accused of producing child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago, IL. Harris's home in Naperville, Illinois was raided.

The first allegation came in August 2020. 

Burton Brillhart, who is Varsity's — the official authority for competitive cheerleading and dance — chief legal officer, confirmed that the first allegations were filed with the police in both Florida and Texas back in August 2020. Furthermore, Brillhart confirmed that Harris was no longer affiliated with the company thanks to the allegations. "As a result of the recent allegation, we have barred this person from having any affiliation with Varsity Brands or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, now and in the future," he said.

The allegations against Jerry Harris have come as a shock to most. 

Despite the severe nature of the allegations, no one seemed to have any clue about the allegations against Harris. In February 2020, one month before the pandemic, he interviewed celebrities for the Oscars on behalf of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He also recorded an Instagram video encouraging young Black men to vote in June 2020, which was subsequently deleted. In both cases, neither celebrity seemed to be aware of what was going on with the Cheer star. 

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Who are Jerry Harris's victims?

Limited details are available about Harris's alleged victims. What we know is that they are underage teenage twins. We also know that the victims are male, they're Texas natives, and they were 13 years old at the time of the alleged attack. The boys' mother was the one who reported Harris to the FBI and said they have both spoken to the FBI.

Jerry Harris has not commented, but his attorney categorically denies the charges.

As of this writing, Jerry Harris has not commented about the allegations against him but his attorney categorically denies the charges. "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," he said in a statement.

Social media has gone into overdrive with comments on the Jerry Harris child porn scandal. 

It didn't take long for Twitter to explode with comments about Jerry Harris. Most of the comments expressed a combination of shock and disgust, while others claimed it was a set-up. You can check them out below. 

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Jerry Harris has been sued by two of the minors who claimed he sexually exploited them. 

The day after the FBI announced that they'd executed a search warrant on Harris' premises, two of the minors who claimed he sexually exploited them announced that they'd filed a civil suit against the now-disgraced star. Through their attorney, Morgan Stewart, the two minors released a statement. "This case presents one more sad, and shocking example of a sexual predator using his fame and position of authority as a coach and mentor to sexually abuse children. USASF and the other defendants failed in their responsibility to protect our clients from his abuse by properly supervising Harris’s conduct as their employee and agent," they said.

Sexual abuse of children and minors is incredibly common. According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), 1 in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 have experienced sexual abuse from an adult. Girls are far more likely to be victims of sexual abuse; the organization reports that 82% of all victims under 18 are female, and those who do suffer from assault and abuse are more likely to also develop mental health issues like depression, PTSD, and drug abuse.

Sexual abuse of adults is also common. RAINN also reports that every 73 seconds, an American is a victim of sexual violence. As with children, females are far more likely to be abused and assaulted, and 90% of victims who are adults are women. This is especially prevalent among women who also happen to be college students, which makes their risk three times greater.

There are ways to help child abuse victims. Want to get involved to bring an end to child sexual abuse? There are a few things you can do. There are organizations like Prevent Child Abuse America that are good places to start and that are always looking for people to donate their time and money to their efforts. The organization also suggests writing to local elected officials to support policies that bring an end to sexual abuse, and of course, the simplest thing to do is to keep eyes and ears open and to report abuse when you see it — and to always take children seriously when they say they're being abused.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, photographer and publicist whose work has been featured in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more.