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Jerry Harris From Netflix's "Cheer" Has Been Arrested On Child Pornography Charges

Two twin boys have accused the Cheer star in a lawsuit of soliciting sex and nude pictures from them.

Last updated on September 17, 2020, at 6:08 p.m. ET

Posted on September 17, 2020, at 1:40 p.m. ET

Courtesy of Netflix

Jerry Harris, a cheerleader featured in the Netflix documentary series Cheer, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of producing child pornography, the US Attorney's Office confirmed.

Harris's arrest comes after FBI agents searched his home in Naperville, Illinois, on Monday.

Harris was a fan favorite of Cheer, which follows the cheerleaders of Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, as they prepare for a major competition.

The charges also come after a lawsuit filed in Texas earlier this week accused the Netflix star of soliciting sex, sending sexually explicit messages, and asking for nude pictures from two 14-year-old twins, USA Today reported.

The two boys who spoke told USA Today they were harassed by Harris at cheer competitions since they were 13 and Harris was 19.

The criminal complaint does not name the victims in the case but states the investigation began when authorities were contacted by the parent of two 14-year-old boys.

The parent, according to the complaint, found sexually explicit pictures on the cellphone of one of her sons, and then was told that Harris had asked for the pictures and videos through text messages.

Included in the criminal complaint are screenshots of messages between Harris and the boy show that Harris asked how old he was and, after the boy said he was 13, he asked him for pictures of his face, "And booty."

From court records

According to authorities, the boy sent Harris more than a dozen explicit pictures between December 2018 and March 2020. Harris had also allegedly sent the boy pictures and videos of himself masturbating, beginning when the victim was 13 years old.

In one of the videos, the face of the man masturbating cannot be seen, but the boy told his mother it was Harris.

After talking to authorities, the boy also accused Harris of asking him to perform oral sex on him during two cheerleading competitions.

Backing up the allegation, authorities included text messages Harris sent the boy before one of the competitions in which he said he had "found a place for us to do stuff."

The boy replied, "i cant sorry."

From court records

When the boy's brother was interviewed by authorities, he said Harris had often been "touchy" and did "odd things," including asking him for nude pictures of himself as well.

The brother said after saying no, that Harris would make him "feel guilty for not sending HARRIS nude photographs."

At one point, the boy said Harris sent him a message asking him if he "would ever want to ****."

The boy understood the "****" meant "fuck."

From court records

Netflix in a statement said: "Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process."

On Monday, Harris denied the allegations against him through a statement issued by his spokesperson, according to ABC News.

"We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager," the spokesperson said.

However, during an interview with law enforcement on the same day the statement was issued, Harris allegedly admitted to investigators that he had asked the underage boy for sexually explicit photos through Snapchat. Harris, according to the complaint, knew the boy was 13 at the time.

According to the complaint, Harris also admitted to have solicited the boy for oral sex during a cheer competition in Texas, then again in Florida to try to get the boy to meet him in a bathroom.

In February, according to court documents, Harris then sent a message to the boy saying he did not think they should be friends anymore, "and that HARRIS [sic] was feeling sorry for something he had done in the past."

Harris had blocked the boy on Snapchat, according to text messages, and told him, "I"m sorry for what I've done in the past. I don't think it's a good idea we be friends on Snap."

The complaint also cites two more victims, including a 17-year-old who was paid by Harris to send him nude pictures and do a video call with the Netflix star where he masturbated.

According to the complaint, Harris allegedly asked another 17-year-old boy for nude pictures. The teen refused at first, but Harris then said he would send him $100 for the images.

The 17-year-old told, identified as "Minor 4" in the criminal complaint, allegedly told another boy about the situation and Harris' request. The second minor, identified as 17-year-old "Minor 5," allegedly took the picture of himself, and then gave them to "Minor 4" to send to Harris instead.

Harris also allegedly got on a sexually explicit call with the 17-year-old, where he told him to show explicit parts of his body while he masturbated. Authorities say he paid the minor $500 after the call.

Harris is facing one charge of production of child pornography and is expected to appear in a federal courtroom in Chicago later Thursday, a spokesperson for the US Attorney's Office said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

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