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A federal choose Wednesday sentenced Jerry Harris, a former star of the Netflix documentary collection Cheer, to 12 years in jail for coercing teenage boys to ship him obscene photographs and movies of themselves and soliciting intercourse from minors at cheerleading competitions.
U.S. District Decide Manish Shah additionally ordered that the sentence be adopted by eight years of court-supervised launch.
Shah instructed Harris to contemplate the sentence an “expression of the seriousness of your crimes, tempered with some hope that every one just isn’t misplaced for you or on your victims, and that sooner or later some therapeutic can happen.”
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Harris, 22, of suburban Naperville, pleaded responsible earlier this 12 months to 1 rely every of receiving baby pornography and travelling with the intention to have interaction in unlawful sexual conduct.
A prosecutor had requested for a sentence of 15 years adopted by 10 years of supervised launch whereas attorneys for Harris sought a sentence of six years and eight years of supervised launch.
Earlier than studying his sentence, Harris apologized to his victims, saying, “I’m deeply sorry for all of the trauma my abuse has prompted you. I pray deep down that your struggling involves an finish.”
“I’m not an evil particular person,” Harris mentioned. “I’m nonetheless studying who I’m and what my goal is.”
Harris has been in custody at a federal detention facility.
Sarah Klein, a lawyer for 2 of the victims, issued a press release saying Harris’ guilt was “firmly established.”
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“The sentence he acquired displays the severity of his crimes and the lifetime of ache his victims will endure,” Klein mentioned.
Harris was arrested in September 2020 on a cost of manufacturing of kid pornography. Prosecutors alleged on the time that he solicited movies and pictures from two 14-year-old brothers.
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In keeping with a criticism, federal prosecutors mentioned that Harris admitted to repeatedly asking a minor teen for pornographic movies and pictures between December 2018 and March 2020.
Then in December of that 12 months, he was indicted on extra fees alleging misconduct in Illinois, Florida and Texas. In keeping with the indictment, Harris allegedly solicited intercourse from minors at cheerleading competitions and satisfied teenage boys to ship him obscene images and movies of themselves.
Harris admitted to FBI brokers to asking a teenage boy to ship him lewd images of himself, and to requesting baby pornography on Snapchat from at the least 10 to fifteen others he knew to be minors, in keeping with the indictment.
Cheer was an enormous success when it was launched in January 2020 and Harris grew to become wildly common for his upbeat perspective and his encouraging “mat speak.” Harris even interviewed celebrities on the crimson carpet on the Academy Awards for The Ellen DeGeneres Present.
The docuseries follows the aggressive cheerleading squad from Navarro Faculty in Corsicana, Texas.
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