Jerry Harris, the star of the Netflix documentary series Cheer, has been arrested on charges of producing child sex images.
The 21 year old TV personality allegedly asked an underage boy to send sexually explicit photos and videos of himself on Snapchat.
A criminal report says that the victim informed Harris during their initial online encounter that he was 13 years old.
Who is Jerry Harris?
Jeremiah ‘Jerry’ Harris gained national recognition after starring in the 2020 Netflix documentary series, Cheer.
Harris featured prominently in the series, which followed a cheerleading team from Navarro College in Texas, USA, as they sought to win a national title.
He is known for his enthusiastic “mat talk”, in which cheerleaders on the sidelines shout encouragement to teammates as they perform difficult stunts.
The series proved to be an instant hit on its release in January, and has since scooped two Emmy Awards.
Following his appearance on the show, Harris went on to serve as The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s Oscars correspondent in February this year, interviewing high profile celebrities on the red carpet.
What is he accused of?
Harris is accused of soliciting sexually explicit images from a minor between December 2018 and March 2020, and was arrested by police on the morning of 17 September.
According to court records Harris has admitted to receiving such images. However, a spokesperson for the star has denied the allegations.
The charge comes after a lawsuit was filed earlier this week, accusing Harris of child sexual exploitation and abuse of two alleged male victims. The lawsuit claims that Harris allegedly sent the children sexually explicit photos of himself, cornered one of them in a bathroom and requested oral sex.
According to the complaint, Harris admitted to FBI agents during an interview after a raid on his home on 14 September that he had asked one of the teens to send him sexual photos and videos on Snapchat.
Harris also admitted to requesting and receiving child sexual abuse images on Snapchat from “at least between 10 to 15 other individuals he knew were minors”, court documents say.
Investigations into the allegations are still ongoing and officials are calling for anyone with any further information to come forward.
Hearing to be held on Monday
Harris was arrested on 17 September and later appeared in court in Chicago.
The star did not enter a plea and a judge said a hearing would be held on Monday 21 September to determine if he will remain in custody, or be released on bail, according to US media reports.
If convicted on the charge of federal child pornography, Harris faces up to 30 years in prison.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister site, Yorkshire Evening Post.