Jeremiah “Jerry” Harris, who played a star role in one of the Netflix documentary series “Cheer”, has been arrested and charged with producing child sex images.
Harris, 21, was taken into custody on Thursday morning three days after 14-year-old cheerleading twin brothers in Texas filed a lawsuit alleging he solicited sexually explicit photos from them for a year and asked one of them for oral sex.
A spokesperson for Harris had told news men at that time that “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.”
The actor appeared in federal court in Chicago Thursday afternoon.
According to court documents, in an interview with law enforcement officials on Monday, Harris admitted to asking for and receiving child pornography from at least 10 to 15 individuals he knew were minors. He also admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old at a cheerleading event in 2019.
The 28-page criminal complaint related to his arrest contains a number of screenshots of Harris’ exchanges with both twins. Agents interviewed the two boys in late August. The mother of the twins found text messages and the explicit images and videos on her sons’ phones in February, according to the complaint.
In the criminal complaint, Harris is accused of contacting both boys on social media as early as 2018 and soliciting explicit images from both of them.
Production of child pornography carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.
Harris received national recognition after appearing in the 2020 Netflix docuseries, “Cheer”. He became famous for his positive attitude and eccentric personality.
“Cheer,” which debuted in January 2020, follows the cheer team from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas. Harris is one of several students whose stories were spotlighted and captured the hearts and attention of viewers.
The series recently won two Emmy Awards and is nominated for outstanding unstructured reality program, which will be announced during the last night of the virtual Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Saturday.