'Cheer' Star Jerry Harris Given 12 Years in Prison for Child Porn
Film/TV

'Cheer' Star Jerry Harris Given 12 Years in Prison for Child Porn

Jerry Harris has been sentenced to prison by a Chicago judge on charges related to his child pornography case.

On Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Joseph D. Fitzpatrick told CNN that the Cheer star had been given 12 years in prison, which would also be followed by 8 years of court-supervised release."

The sentence comes after Harris plead guilty to two of seven federal charges involving child sex crimes back in February, specifically for receiving child pornography and engaging in interstate travel to meet a minor for sexual acts. One involved bribing a 17-year-old for sexually explicit photos with money, while the second entailed Harris' trip to Florida "for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct” with a 15-year-old.

Attorneys for Harris initially asked Judge Manish S. Shah for six years in prison and eight years of supervised release, arguing that he had a “skewed version of what he understood to be appropriate relationships" after being sexually abused as a minor himself. Meanwhile, prosecutors asked for 15 years, as Harris used “his status as a competitive cheerleader, his social media persona, and eventually his celebrity and money, to persuade and entice his young victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct for him or with him.”

The reality TV personality was arrested at his home in Naperville, Illinois back in September 2020 for alleged production of child pornography and "inappropriate sexual conduct." He was also later hit with a civil suit filed by on behalf of two other alleged victims, who claimed they were asked to exchange explicit photos by Harris in 2019 when they were both 13.

According to the New York Times, Harris later confirmed that he had knowingly done this with at least 10 to 15 minors via Snapchat in a 2020 interview with authorities, in addition to having sex with a 15-year-old. The case was addressed in the second season of Cheer last year, which also contained interview footage with two of Harris' accusers.

Representatives for Harris has yet to comment on the sentence. In the meantime, read the New York Times' full report here.

Photo via Getty / Jim Spellman

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