Netflix star Jerry Harris jailed for 12 years over child sex abuse charges

Jerry Harris starred in Netflix’s hit docuseries Cheer and was arrested in September 2020 on suspicion of producing child pornography.

jerry harris

Jerry Harris starred in Netflix’s hit docuseries Cheer and was arrested in September 2020 on a charge of producing child pornography.

Cheerleader and the star of Netflix’s Cheer, Harris has remained in custody ever since his arrest. Prosecuters on the case sought for a lengthy sentence and said Harris’ status as a star and public figure after Cheer allowed him to “persuade and entice” young people into sending him sexually explicit material. 

According to a complaint, Harris, now 22, has admitted to asking a young teenager to send him sexually themed videos and images between December 2018 and March 2020. He also admitted to the FBI that he had asked for sexual photos from young people on Snapchat, knowing they were minors.

He has also allegedly solicited sex from minors at cheerleading competitions. 


In February earlier this year, Harris pleaded guilty to two of the seven felony charges against him and he was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Wednesday. Harris was told by Judge Manish S Shah to see this sentence as an “expression of the seriousness of your crimes, tempered with some hope that all is not lost for you or for your victims, and that in the future some healing can occur.”

Harris addressed his victims after the sentence was read out to say, “I am deeply sorry for all the trauma my abuse has caused you.” 

Known for his enthusiastic “mat-talk”, Harris was one of the breakout stars of the first season of Cheer, a documentary series following the cheerleading team of Navarro College on their road to compete in Nationals. Even before Cheer made Harris and his team international stars, the Navarro Cheerleading team had a good reputation in the cheerleading world and they were well-known. 

Harris’ bubbly personality was an instant hit with viewers at home and he was one of the most popular people on the show. The second season of Cheer, which dropped on Netflix in January 2022, dedicated an episode entirely to the controversy around Harris. 

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The fifth episode, simply titled “Jerry,” focused entirely on the investigation as well as the shock experienced by the entire team. Two of Harris’ victims also share their stories in the episode. 

Navarro coach Monica Aldama, teammate Morgan Simianer, and the parents of Harris’ fellow cheerleader, Gabi Butler all acted as character witnesses for Harris. 

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