Jerry Harris pleads not guilty in child pornography case

Jerry Harris, the star of the 21-year-old Netflix series “Cheer”, has pleaded not guilty to federal child pornography charges and charges that he has requested sex from minors.

Harris was arrested by the FBI at his home in Naperville, Illinois, on September 17, on charges of child pornography, and has since remained in custody without bail at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

He faces seven charges relating to five underage boys, including four charges of sexual exploitation of children, one charge of receiving and attempting to receive child pornography, one charge of traveling with the attempt to engage in sexual conduct with a minor and one charge of seduction . The acts took place in Florida, Illinois and Texas, according to the prosecution.

Harris made his point at a prosecution hearing held by telephone in a federal court in Chicago on December 17, according to court records.

If he is convicted, the four counts of sexual exploitation and the charge of child pornography carry a sentence of at least 15 years in prison each, and the charge of seduction is at least 10 years.

In a voluntary interview with FBI officials in September, Harris acknowledged that he exchanged sexually explicit photos on Snapchat with at least 10 to 15 people he knew were minors, had sex with a 15-year-old boy in a cheering competition in 2019, and paid to a 17 year old to send him nude photos.

Harris’ lawyers filed a pre-trial release motion in October, arguing that his previous clean record did not merit continued detention and that he would not be a danger to the community. But a judge denied it on October 16.

No trial date has been set.

Todd Pugh, Harris’ lawyer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Cheer”, which won an Emmy for an incredible unstructured reality show in September, follows a national champion cheering team from Navarro College, a junior college in a small Texas town.