Star of Netflix's Cheer Jerry Harris arrested on child sex abuse charge

Star of Netflix's Cheer Jerry Harris arrested on child sex abuse charge
Photo credit: Netflix

The breakout star of Netflix documentary series Cheer has been arrested and accused of enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit photos and videos of himself. 

Jerry Harris, who gained over a million Instagram followers after his role in the wildly popular show about competitive college cheerleading, allegedly contacted an underage boy via social media who told Harris he was 13 at the time. 

If found guilty, Harris would face a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years.   

According to the Washington Post, court records state that Harris admitted to asking the teenager for photos of a sexual nature over Snapchat over a period of 15 months, and to asking for oral sex from the same minor at two different cheerleading events. 

The lawsuit claims Harris began the communication, which started in 2018, by offering to help boost the minor's social media presence in exchange for nude photos. 

Harris also allegedly admitted to requesting and receiving explicit photos from 10 - 15 other minors, along with engaging in sex acts with a 15-year-old at a cheerleading competiting in 2019. 

Earlier this week, representatives for the now 21-year-old Netflix star denied the allegations in a statement shared with Variety

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

"We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed." 

The lawsuit also lists cheerleading and dance network the US All Star Federation as a defendant. Harris is described as a "coach, trainer, mentor representative and agent" of all the organisations within the network. 

Harris found international fame after his appearance on Cheer, where he was revered for his positive attitude and 'mat talks', in which he yelled encouragement to his teammates as they rehearsed. 

Earlier this year, Harris was invited by Ellen DeGeneres to interview celebrities on the red carpet at the Oscar for The Ellen Show, and in June this year discussed being a black gay icon and a role model for young people struggling with their sexuality.