Jerry Harris FBI Investigation: Everything You Need to Know
Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Updated Sept. 17, 2020.
Star of Netflix's CHEER, Jerry Harris, has been arrested and now charged for child pornography for allegedly enticing minors to send him sexually-explicit photos and videos, Forbes reports.
Jerry Harris, 21, stole America's hearts on the hit Netflix series, CHEER. A docu-series following the 14-time National Champions, the Navarro Bulldogs, as they prepared for the 2019 NCAA Cheerleading Championships in Daytona, Florida. Harris become a fan favorite due to his down-to-earth nature and inspiring, uplifting spirit. He was featured on numerous talk shows and even hosted the Oscar's Red Carpet for The Ellen Show.
His quick rise to fame seemed to be earned and was happily accepted by America, until this week. On Monday, September 14th, news broke that Harris was being investigated by the FBI for allegedly soliciting sex from minors, including sexual pictures and videos of younger male cheerleaders. Early Monday morning, FBI searched the home of Jerry and family as part of the unraveling investigation, USA Today reported.
The investigation has begun due to allegations brought to Varsity Spirit, a company that has monopolized the competitive cheerleading industry. In a letter to both the state police in Texas and Florida, Varsity described the accusations on Harris from the alleged victims, a set of twin brothers, and explained that since they had learned of this sexual misconduct in the industry, they were obligated to turn the information over to the police.
In interviews with USA Today, the twin
boys described a long pattern of sexual harassment both through social media and in person at cheerleading competitions.
Since the news broke, multiple other minors have shared their stories, similar to the underage twins. Since the news broke, the USASF, the governing body of competitive cheerleading, has banned Harris from appearing or competing at any competitions in the future. The USASF declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
One day after news broke and the FBI searched Harris' home, his spokesperson sent a statement to ABC News stating, "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."
On Wednesday, Sept. 16, two 14-year old twin brothers filed an official lawsuit against Harris alleging sexual abuse. A day later on Thursday, Harris has been charged with one count of producing child pornography, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison with a 30-year max.
According to the lawsuit complaint, Harris used Snapchat in 2018 to contact an underage boy for sexually-explicit photos.
Harris or a spokesperson has not commented on the federal pornography charge specifically, but have denied the allegations made by the twin brothers.
According to the charges, Harris allegedly sought out 10 to 15 minors for explicit photos.
In a statement to E! News, the alleged victim's attorney praised investigators for their quick action:
"We are grateful that the U.S. Attorney and the FBI have taken swift action to protect children by investigating, arresting and charging Jerry Harris," Morgan Stewart and Sarah Klein of Manly, Stewart & Finaldi told E! News. "This was made possible because our clients' mother had the courage to report Harris to the FBI as well as the Fort Worth Police Department and provided evidentiary proof of the manipulation, sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation that her sons had suffered."
We will continue to update the story as facts come to light. For all of your pop culture info, follow @KBPopCulture on all social media.