Netflix’s Jerry Harris Arrested for Child Pornography Following Tarrant County Lawsuit
On Thursday, September 17, Jeremiah “Jerry” Harris – star of the Netflix documentary series “Cheer” – was arrested on one count of child pornography. The TV personality was taken into custody in Naperville, IL, and faces charges in federal court in Chicago. His arrest comes on the heels of a recent Tarrant County lawsuit, which was filed by the mother of two twins who says Harris allegedly requested and sent sexually explicit messages.
Prior to this news, Harris had stood as a newfound hero to many young Texans. The show “Cheer,” in which Harris came to prominence earlier this year, follows the Navarro College cheerleading team on its path from Corsicana, TX to a national title. The docuseries was both critically acclaimed and beloved by audiences, hailed as gut-wrenching and inspirational.
To many fans of “Cheer” and members of the cheerleading community, Harris’s arrest will cause shock and heartbreak. So, what exactly happened, and what do we know about the case so far? While only time will tell the outcome of the lawsuit and federal charges, we can share what has led up to this moment.
What Accusations Does Jerry Harris Face?
According to the lawsuit filed on September 14, Jerry Harris sexually harassed a 13-year-old boy at a Fort Worth cheering competition in 2019. The lawsuit accuses Harris of using social media to “groom” this boy and his twin brother ever since meeting them at other competitions in 2018. It contends that he obtained their contact information at a 2018 competition and proceeded to both send and request nude photos from them. Then, in February 2019, Harris allegedly lured one of the twins to an empty bathroom and asked the boy to perform oral sex.
These allegations led the FBI to open a criminal investigation into Harris’s behavior, including the execution of a search warrant in the star’s Naperville home on Monday, September 14. Two days later, an FBI agent filed a criminal complaint against Harris with the U.S. District Court in Chicago. The complaint states that Harris voluntarily admitted to soliciting nude photos from a boy he knew to be 13 years old.
If found guilty of this child pornography charge, Harris will face a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison. Meanwhile, the Texas lawsuit – which, in addition to Harris, accuses three cheer companies of negligence in child supervision – has requested a trial by jury. The lawsuit seeks $1 million in damages.
Contact a Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been accused of a serious crime, do not wait to seek legal representation. At Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian, we understand how charges of sexual harassment can devastate a person’s life and reputation. Our criminal defense attorneys are well-versed in sex crime cases and cases involving children, and we know that such allegations often prove to be false. In building a defense for our clients, we work to balance prowess and compassion.
To schedule your free, confidential consultation, call (972) 369-0577 today. No matter what time you call, we will pick up.