Celebrity

‘Cheer’ Star Jerry Harris Arrested For Victimizing Underage Boy, Prosecutors Want Him Held Until Trial

Prosecutors want "Cheer" star Jerry Harris to be remanded to custody while he awaits trial because he could still have contact with minors.

Prosecutors in Illinois have asked that a judge remand “Cheer” star Jerry Harris, a former surrogate for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, to federal custody while he awaits trial on child pornography charges.

Prosecutors Want Harris Held In Custody

In court documents that were obtained by Fox News, prosecutors argued that if Harris is given home detention before his trial, he would pose a threat to his community.

He was charged with one count of child pornography after he was arrested last month for enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit photos and videos of himself.

The minimum sentence for this crime is 15 years in prison, while the maximum is 30 years behind bars.

In a motion filed on Tuesday in the Northern District of Illinois, prosecutors argued that Harris, 21, “by his own admission, has forever damaged at least 5 to 10 minor boys.” And as such, he “either does not care about being caught committing his offenses, or simply cannot help himself.”

Prosecutors then warned that “dedicated third-party custodians” would not be able to stop Harris from continuing to have contact with minors.

“Established in this criminal complaint, and corroborated by the continuing investigation, is that Harris is a dangerous child predator who targets children all over the country for purposes of sexual exploitation,” the prosecutors stated. “Harris not only commits his offenses online, but he seeks to meet his victims in person for purposes of hands-on offenses.”

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Prosecutors Go Into Claims Against Harris

Prosecutors went on to cite the claims made by a 13-year-old boy who is referred to as “Minor 1” in the complaint against Harris.

“Harris used his age advantage to manipulate Minor 1 in the same way that all adult sexual predators manipulate a child. Through a combination of guilt, compliments, and what has been described by multiple victims as ‘unrelenting persistence,’ Harris was able to coerce Minor 1 into taking sexually explicit photographs of himself to feed Harris’ deviant desires.

The victimization of Minor 1 was not a one-time offense by Harris. It continued for over a year involving the production and transportation of dozens of child pornography images all consumed by Harris.”

Prosecutors are firmly convinced that if Harris is given home detention, he will find ways to contact underage victims, either through his cellphone or via the internet.

In making this point, prosecutors cited Harris’ own admission that he “destroyed his cell phone” upon being “tipped off to the investigation” before his arrest. 

“Just weeks after getting rid of his cell phone Harris used his new ‘clean’ phone to again reach out and victimize minor boys. This demonstrates that Harris either simply cannot control his criminal impulses, or he simply does not care about getting caught,” the prosecutors alleged. “If a full gymnasium of cheer moms and dads is not enough to deter Harris from committing these crimes, a single cheer mom will have no chance at protecting the community from Harris.”

Harris became a household name after starring in Cheer, which was released on Netflix in January. The show chronicles the journey of a competitive cheer squad at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas as they prepare for a national championship. 

“Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process,” a Netflix spokesman said after Harris’ arrest.

RELATED: Netflix Sticks With “Cuties” After Indictment Of “Lewd” Movie About Children

He Acted As Surrogate For Biden

Prior to his arrest, Harris was acting as a campaign surrogate for Biden. In June, Harris posted an Instagram Live session that he’d had with the Democratic presidential nominee.

“I had the opportunity to speak with Vice President @JoeBiden a few days ago about some really important issues facing our country right now, in particular young adults and the Black community,” Harris wrote alongside the video. “Check out part of our conversation about voter apathy and why it is so important that we all register to vote. Together we have the power to make a real change!”

In the Instagram Live, Biden described the act of voting as “the most powerful non-violent tool we have.”

“I’d like to spend the day with you. Hopefully we can meet one another once this coronavirus-” Biden said at the conclusion of the session.

“Absolutely!” Harris replied.

Biden has yet to denounce Harris for the crimes he allegedly committed against children. If a surrogate of Donald Trump’s been arrested for this, the president would be facing constant pressure to denounce him. Since it was just a surrogate of Biden’s, however, the media is giving the former Vice President a free pass on this. 

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