Jerry Harris, of Netflix’s ‘Cheer’ Fame, Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Sex Crimes Case | Chicago News

Dirksen United States Courthouse (Ken Lund / Flickr)

Jeremiah “Jerry” Harris, the former star of the Netflix docuseries “Cheer,” will spend the next 12 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a pair of sex crime charges.

The 22-year-old Naperville native was sentenced during a hearing before a federal judge in Chicago Wednesday afternoon. He pleaded guilty in February to knowingly receiving child pornography and engaging in illicit sexual conduct – two of the seven counts he was initially facing.

Harris was charged in September 2020 with soliciting sexually explicit videos and photographs from an underage boy. He was later indicted that December on additional charges alleging that he solicited sex from minors at cheerleading competitions and convinced teenage boys to send him obscene photographs and videos of themselves.

Federal prosecutors have said that between July and August 2020, Harris communicated with a minor over Snapchat and repeatedly requested sexually explicit photos and videos in exchange for payment.

And more than a year earlier, in May 2019, Harris allegedly flew from Dallas to Orlando specifically to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a 15-year-old boy. Prosecutors said Harris asked the victim to meet him in a public bathroom, where Harris then sexually assaulted him.

Prosecutors last month asked U.S. Circuit Court Judge Manish Shah to sentence Harris to 15 years in prison, alleging he “preyed on the insecurity and youth of boys in the cheerleading community to abuse them.”

“Child sex predators always look for some method to exploit their victims,” ​​Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Guzman wrote in a June sentencing memorandum. “Jeremiah Harris used what he had at his disposal – his status as a competitive cheerleader, his social media persona, and eventually his celebrity and money, to persuade and entice his young victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct for him or with him.”

Harris remains held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago.

Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson | [email protected] | (773) 509-5431

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