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A federal choose Wednesday sentenced Jerry Harris, a former star of the Netflix documentary series Cheer, to 12 decades in prison for coercing teenage boys to mail him obscene images and movies of themselves and soliciting intercourse from minors at cheerleading competitions.
U.S. District Choose Manish Shah also purchased that the sentence be adopted by eight years of court docket-supervised release.
Shah instructed Harris to take into consideration the sentence an “expression of the seriousness of your crimes, tempered with some hope that all is not misplaced for you or for your victims, and that in the foreseeable future some healing can take place.”
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Harris, 22, of suburban Naperville, pleaded responsible before this year to a single count just about every of getting boy or girl pornography and travelling with the intention to have interaction in unlawful sexual perform.
A prosecutor experienced asked for a sentence of 15 years followed by 10 yrs of supervised release even though legal professionals for Harris sought a sentence of six years and 8 decades of supervised launch.
Ahead of mastering his sentence, Harris apologized to his victims, saying, “I am deeply sorry for all the trauma my abuse has triggered you. I pray deep down that your suffering will come to an stop.”
“I’m not an evil person,” Harris explained. “I’m continue to learning who I am and what my function is.”
Harris has been in custody at a federal detention facility.
Sarah Klein, a attorney for two of the victims, issued a assertion expressing Harris’ guilt was “firmly proven.”
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“The sentence he acquired displays the severity of his crimes and the life time of suffering his victims will go through,” Klein explained.
Harris was arrested in September 2020 on a cost of generation of little one pornography. Prosecutors alleged at the time that he solicited movies and illustrations or photos from two 14-calendar year-old brothers.
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In accordance to a criticism, federal prosecutors stated that Harris admitted to repeatedly inquiring a slight teenager for pornographic video clips and illustrations or photos in between December 2018 and March 2020.
Then in December of that yr, he was indicted on a lot more charges alleging misconduct in Illinois, Florida and Texas. In accordance to the indictment, Harris allegedly solicited sexual intercourse from minors at cheerleading competitions and convinced teenage boys to deliver him obscene photos and videos of themselves.
Harris admitted to FBI agents to asking a teenage boy to mail him lewd photographs of himself, and to requesting little one pornography on Snapchat from at least 10 to 15 many others he knew to be minors, according to the indictment.
Cheer was a enormous achievement when it was released in January 2020 and Harris turned wildly well-known for his upbeat mindset and his encouraging “mat speak.” Harris even interviewed celebrities on the red carpet at the Academy Awards for The Ellen DeGeneres Clearly show.
The docuseries follows the competitive cheerleading squad from Navarro Higher education in Corsicana, Texas.
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