Jerry Harris, who is best known as the star of the popular docu-series, ‘Cheer’ has been given a prison sentence of 12 years in a federal prison on the count of soliciting sex from minors.
As per USA Today, Harris’ sentencing took place five months after the reality star plead guilty to the charge of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old in a bathroom as well as for paying a 17-year-old to send him sexual photos and videos – all this during the Cheer competition.
As per Variety, Harris has also admitted to similar conducts with other minors but those charges were somehow dropped during his plea agreement.
As per reports in Variety, Jerry Harris was first arrested on charges of child pornography in the month of September in 2020, mere few months after the debut of the first season of ‘Cheer’ which happened in January 2020.
The docu-series follows the cheering squad of Navarro College and their competition in the Daytona national championship. The series became a critical success and team member Harris quickly became a fan favourite of the viewers and somewhat of a minor celebrity.
Since the case broke out, season 2 of the series will address Harris’ charge and it will also feature an episode which will include interviews with his victims.
USA Today obtained court documents before the sentencing happened and as per those documents, Harris’ lawyers have argued that he should be given a six-year sentence because the 22-year-old man had a “warped” view of sexual relationships because he himself was a victim of assault when he was 13 years old. His perpetrator was a 19-year-old.
Prosecutors at their end wanted a 15-year sentence stating that Harris’ childhood trauma cannot be his excuse for his heinous actions.
In her sentencing memorandum, assistant US attorney Kelly Guzman said, “Harris used his celebrity and wealth to continue his exploitation of children, expanding the tools available to him to manipulate them into gratifying his seemingly insatiable sexual desires.”
USA Today further reported that USASF was informed about the allegations against Harris in May 2020 itself, but they failed to take any action against Harris up until it all went public in September 2020.