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Jerry Harris From "Cheer" Was Ordered To Stay In Jail Because He Poses A "Significant Danger To The Community"

The star of the Netflix cheerleading docuseries will remain behind bars ahead of his child pornography trial.

Posted on October 16, 2020, at 3:14 p.m. ET

Jim Spellman / Getty Images

Jerry Harris promoting Cheer in January in New York City.

Cheer star Jerry Harris will stay behind bars in Chicago ahead of his trial on a child pornography charge, a federal judge ruled Friday after deciding that his release would pose "significant danger to the community."

"By all accounts he was a rising star with a positive future ahead," Magistrate Judge Heather K. McShain said during a phone hearing, "but those positive aspects must be weighed against the aspect he hid from the community."

"There is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant would be a danger to the community if released," she added.

McShain agreed with federal prosecutors who had urged her to keep Harris, 21, locked up. They described him as a "brazen sexual predator" who had preyed on as many as 10 boys via social media, as well as one 15-year-old boy that he allegedly raped in an unlocked bathroom at a cheerleading event in 2019.

In contrast, Harris's attorneys had portrayed him as a victim himself of a predatory cheerleading world, "where sexual predators were largely unchecked with children of all ages." They also argued that despite Harris being an adult, he "was in most respects a child himself interacting with other children."

But McShain said Harris could not be trusted to be released given that he had successfully hidden his alleged crimes for more than a year, that he had a strong familiarity with the internet, and had previously shown behavior indicating he could not control his impulses. Harris admitted to authorities, for example, that after learning he was being investigated, he destroyed his cellphone, bought another, and continued to victimize boys.

Harris is still only facing one count of producing child pornography for allegedly soliciting nude photos from one minor. But authorities have said they have interviewed more potential victims, including the boy Harris allegedly raped in a bathroom stall, suggesting more charges may be filed.

If convicted of the one count he is currently facing, Harris faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.

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