Netflix 'Cheer' star on child porn charge

Jerry Harris, the star of the Netflix documentary series Cheer, has been charged over child porn.
Jerry Harris, the star of the Netflix documentary series Cheer, has been charged over child porn.

Jerry Harris, the star of the Netflix documentary series Cheer, has been arrested and charged with producing child pornography, three days after twin boys filed a lawsuit alleging he sent them sexually explicit photos of himself and cornered one of them in a bathroom and begged for oral sex.

According to the complaint, Harris admitted during an interview after FBI agents raided his home in the Chicago suburb of Naperville on Monday that he had asked one of the teens to send him photographs and videos of his penis and buttocks on Snapchat.

He also admitted that he repeatedly asked the teen, identified only as Minor 1, between December 2018 and March of this year for such photographs and videos.

Further, Harris admitted to requesting and receiving on Snapchat child pornography from "at least between 10 to 15 other individuals he knew were minors," according to the complaint.

Harris, who was taken into custody on Thursday, will remain in jail until at least Monday after a judge ordered him to return for a detention hearing on Monday morning.

Harris, 21, was the breakout star of the show that followed the cheerleading team from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, as it sought a national title.

Harris did not respond for comment from USA Today, and attempts by The Associated Press to find a phone number for Harris have not been successful.

In interviews with USA Today at their Texas home, the boys - who are now 14 years old - described a pattern of harassment both online and at cheer competitions, which began when they were 13 and Harris was 19.

They said it continued for over a year.

Cheer was an instant success when it was released in January, and Harris drew fans for his upbeat attitude and his encouraging "mat talk".

Earlier this year, he interviewed celebrities on the red carpet at the Oscars for The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Australian Associated Press