‘Cheer’ Star Jerry Harris Sentenced to 12 Years in Jail Following Child Pornography Conviction

Cheer Star Jerry Harris Sentenced to 12 Years in Jail Following Child Pornography Conviction
 Courtesy of Netflix

Former Cheer personality Jerry Harris received his sentence amid his child pornography case.

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Harris, 22, appeared in court on Wednesday, July 6, as a judge confirmed the Netflix personality would receive a 12-year prison sentence, per TMZ. The Illinois native addressed the court after the decision was announced.

“To my victims, I am sorry for all the trauma my abuse has caused you. I am ashamed as I know that I took advantage of your youth and weakness,” the Cheer alum said. “I was wrong and selfish. I caused you harm and I do not blame anyone. I regret my decisions and I am deeply sorry.”

Harris added that he does “not deserve forgiveness, but I do pray that one day you might find it in your hearts.”

Us Weekly previously confirmed in September 2020 that the Navarro College alum was arrested on charges of production of child pornography following an FBI investigation. He also stood trial for allegedly soliciting sex from minors while at cheerleading competitions.

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Ahead of sentencing, Harris’ attorneys objected to the terms of their client’s potential supervised release in July 1 documents, including a “penile plethysmography” test that many sex offender treatment facilities often use. An additional motion was filed on July 5 to extend time to determine the amount of restitution that should be awarded to his alleged victims.

The Illinois native plead guilty to counts three and seven of his indictment in February, telling the court he agreed to a plea deal with the government, which recommended a 50-year prison sentence.

Before changing his plea, Harris initially plead not guilty to seven felony charges, including four counts of sexual exploitation of children, one count of enticement, one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of travel with the intent to engage in an illicit sexual contact with a minor.

The former cheerleader, who rose to fame on season 1 of Netflix’s Cheer docuseries, also fervently denied the allegations at the time of his arrest.

“We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager,” Harris’ spokesperson said in a statement to Us after his 2020 arrest. “We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”

While Harris did not appear on Cheer season 2, many of its episodes — which premiered in January on the streaming platform — discussed the fallout from his case.

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“I can’t even wrap my head around how I should feel. This has been a tough year,” Navarro head coach Monica Aldama said during the second season premiere. “But then there are moments that are so wonderful. These little moments of success that keep you coming back, just the little things that add up. … I keep putting one foot in front of the other, every single day. I don’t have a choice.”

She continued at the time: “I was on the stage at Dancing With the Stars in dress rehearsal for our very first live show [when I found out]. … I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was already terrified. I did the show and then I went back to my trailer. I didn’t even want to look at my phone because I was scared. I didn’t want to hear anymore because I was in such a vulnerable position at the time with what I was going through, and I just couldn’t take the weight of all it.”

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