Jerimiah, “Jerry” Harris, a 22-year-old who starred in the Netflix documentary “Cheer,” was sentenced to 12 years in Illinois prison on child sexual abuse charges, Wall Street Journal reports. In September 2020, the allegations against Harris became public, as he was arrested for a child pornography charge. An investigation into Harris began in 2018, when a mother of two 14-year-old boys contacted authorities, accusing Harris of asking her sons for sexually explicit images. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Harris also had an in-person, sexual encounter with one of the boys.
“Cheer” showcased a community college cheer team as they prepared for a national competition. It was one of the most-watched shows on Netflix when it premiered in January 2020. Harris was known for his uplifting pep talks during season one of the show. However, he did not appear in season two. In February 2022, Harris pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of traveling to engage in illicit sexual contact. He admitted to paying a 17-year-old boy for sexually explicit images in 2020. He also admitted to another incident in 2019, when he traveled from Texas to Florida to meet a 15-year-old boy in a public bathroom and sexually assault him. In court, Harris apologized to his victims. “I am ashamed as I know that I took advantage of your youth and weakness,” he said.