Why Prosecutors Want Cheer's Jerry Harris Detained Until Trial

Chicago federal prosecutors claim Cheer star Jerry Harris admitted that he “victimized at least 5 to 10 children.” Get the latest on the ongoing investigation.

By Mike Vulpo Oct 16, 2020 9:52 PMTags
Watch: "Cheer" Star Jerry Harris Arrested for Child Pornography

UPDATE: According to NBC 5 ChicagoCheer star Jerry Harris was denied bail by a federal judge on Friday, Oct. 16. 

Sarah Klein, the lawyer for two of the alleged victims, said in a statement, "On behalf of our clients and the other victims of Jerry Harris, we thank the Court for keeping Mr. Harris in custody. This ruling will not only ensure the protection of other children and the community, but it sends the message that the allegations made by our clients and Mr. Harris's other victims are being taken very seriously. It sends the message that, by coming forward, our clients' and other victims' trust in law enforcement and legal systems was well-placed. And this ruling makes absolutely certain that Mr. Harris CANNOT hurt any other children while he awaits trial."

E! News reached out to Harris' attorney for comment, but has not heard back. 


Prosecutors are presenting their argument as to why Cheer star Jerry Harris should be detained as he awaits trial.

In court documents obtained by E! News, Chicago federal prosecutors claim the 21-year-old admitted that he "victimized at least 5 to 10 children who are all forever damaged by his criminal conduct." 

"Harris himself admitted in his interview that every time he encountered a child online…Harris sought to meet them in person for a hands on sexual offense," prosecutors alleged in the court documents. "Harris was often unsuccessful in his attempts, but the persistence shows the danger Harris faces to any child he can reach over the internet." 

Prosecutors argued that Harris "exhibits all the signs of a serial child predator and until he receives significant mental health sex offender treatment, he will remain a danger to any child he encounters, either online or in person." 

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In a court hearing on Oct. 14, Harris' attorneys argued that their client can be released on conditions. A judge did not immediately issue a ruling.

According to court documents, Harris' legal team claimed their client's longtime guardian and maternal figure "as well as other parents from the ‘cheer community' were willing to serve as Mr. Harris' third-party custodians."


In their bid for release pending trial, Harris' team also argued that their client "had barely reached the age of majority when the purported criminal conduct occurred." In addition, the legal team "has already arranged for evaluation and treatment" for Harris. Finally, they pointed out that their client has asthma making him a health risk if he was to contact COVID-19 in jail.

Back on Sept. 17, Harris was arrested on a federal child pornography charge for allegedly enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself.

He was charged with one count of producing child pornography, which is punishable by a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.

Fans first met Harris when he appeared on Netflix's hit show, Cheer. The docuseries followed a group of Navarro College cheerleaders in their quest for a national title. 

When news first broke that the FBI was investigating Harris, a spokesperson for the athlete told E! News, "We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager. We are confident that when the investigation is completed, the true facts will be revealed." 

(This story was originally published on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020 at 3:22 p.m. PST.)

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