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Former ‘Cheer’ star Jerry Harris sentenced on federal charges for child sexual abuse images

Jerry Harris, the former star of the Netflix docu-series “Cheer,” has been sentenced to 12 years in prison on federal charges involving images of child sexual abuse, according to multiple media reports. Harris, 22, of suburban Naperville, Illinois, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count each of receiving child pornography and traveling to engage in unlawful sexual conduct. Related video above: ‘Cheer’ coach Monica Aldama responds to Jerry Harris’ arrest Defense attorneys, arguing for a lesser sentence before Wednesday’s hearing, described Harris as a “victim and victimizer,” saying he was sexually assaulted when he was child .«The trauma he experienced as a child normalized his skewed version of what he understood to be appropriate relationships. No one was there to defend him when he was sexually assaulted as a minor. He is grateful that it is not the case for his victims in this case, for whom he deeply regrets.” Defense attorneys wrote. Federal prosecutors acknowledged that the actor’s traumatic childhood was a mitigating factor in his crimes, but said “while Harris’ childhood was very difficult, it was not a blank slate for him to commit sexual offenses against minors.” Harris was arrested in September 2020 on charges of producing child pornography. Prosecutors then alleged he solicited videos and images from two 14-year-old brothers. According to a complaint, federal prosecutors said Harris admitted to repeatedly soliciting pornographic videos and images from an underage teenager between December 2018 and March 2020. Then in December that same year, he was indicted on more charges alleging misconduct in Illinois, Florida and Texas. According to the indictment, Harris allegedly solicited sex from minors at cheerleading competitions and convinced teenagers to send him indecent photos and videos of themselves. Harris admitted to FBI agents that he asked a teenager to send him indecent photos of himself and solicited child pornography on Snapchat from at least 10 to 15 others he knew to be minors, according to the indictment. “Cheer” was a huge success when it was released in January 2020, and Harris became extremely popular for his upbeat attitude and motivational “mat speech.” Harris even interviewed celebrities on the red carpet at the Academy Awards for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” The documentary series follows the competitive cheerleading squad from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jerry Harris, the former star of the Netflix documentary “Cheer,” has been sentenced to 12 years in prison on federal charges involving child sexual abuse images, according to multiple media reports.

Harris, 22, of suburban Naperville, Illinois, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of receiving child pornography and traveling to engage in unlawful sexual conduct.

Related video above: ‘Cheer’ coach Monica Aldama responds to Jerry Harris’ arrest

Defense attorneys, arguing for a lesser sentence before Wednesday’s hearing, described Harris as a “victim and victimizer,” saying he was sexually assaulted himself as a child.

“The trauma he experienced as a child normalized his skewed version of what he understood to be appropriate relationships. No one was there to defend him when he was sexually assaulted as a minor. He is grateful that it is not the case for his victims in this case, for whom he deeply regrets.” the defense attorneys wrote.

Federal prosecutors acknowledged that the actor’s traumatic childhood was a mitigating factor in his crimes, but said “while Harris’ childhood was very difficult, it was not a blank slate for him to commit sexual offenses against minors.”

Harris was arrested in September 2020 on charges of producing child pornography. Prosecutors alleged at the time that he requested videos and images from two 14-year-old brothers.

According to a complaint, federal prosecutors said Harris admitted to repeatedly soliciting pornographic videos and images from an underage teenager between December 2018 and March 2020.

Then, in December of that year, he was indicted on more charges alleging misconduct in Illinois, Florida and Texas. According to the indictment, Harris allegedly solicited sex from minors at cheerleading competitions and convinced the teenage boys to send him lewd photos and videos of themselves.

Harris admitted to FBI agents that he asked a teenage boy to send him lewd photos of himself and that he requested child pornography on Snapchat from at least 10 to 15 others he knew to be minors, according to the indictment.

‘Cheer’ was a huge success when it was released in January 2020 and Harris became extremely popular for his upbeat attitude and motivational ‘mat speech’. Harris even interviewed celebrities on the red carpet at the Academy Awards for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

The documentary follows the competitive cheerleading squad from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Former ‘Cheer’ star Jerry Harris sentenced on federal charges for child sexual abuse images Source link Former ‘Cheer’ star Jerry Harris sentenced on federal charges for child sexual abuse images

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