Jerry Harris, ex-'Cheer' star, sentenced to 12 years for sex crimes involving minors

July 7 (UPI) -- A judge in Chicago has sentenced Jeremiah "Jerry" Harris, the former star of Netflix's docuseries "Cheer," to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to committing sex crimes involving minors.

Judge Manish Shah handed down the sentence Wednesday, months after the 22-year-old Naperville, Ill., resident pleaded guilty early this year to one count of receiving child pornography and one count of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.


Harris, who has been in jail since September 2020, faced up to 50 years in prison, but his lawyers had sought six years' imprisonment while the prosecution had asked Shah to sentence him to 15 years.

Shah also sentenced Harris to eight years of court-supervised release following the completion of his prison term.

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Harris had pleaded guilty in February, and admitted to paying $2,000 in 2020 to a 17-year-old boy for sexually explicit photos and videos while having also tried to entice two other minors to send him child pornography.

He also told the judge that in 2019, he had traveled to Florida from Texas in order to have sex with a 15-year-old in a public bathroom.


Harris' star rose after he appeared in the Netflix show "Cheer," which documented the cheerleading program at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, and premiered in January 2020.

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However, Harris was arrested that September after he was accused of soliciting child pornography from two 13-year-old brothers.

In December of that year, a federal grand jury in Illinois then indicted Harris on a slew of charges, including four counts of using, persuading, inducing and enticing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visible depiction.

He was also charged with one count each of interstate travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor, enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity and receiving and attempting to receive child pornography.

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Danielle Haynes contributed to this report.

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