Jeremiah “Jerry” Harris, one of the students featured in Netflix’s breakout docuseries “Cheer,” has been arrested on production of child pornography charges, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Fitzpatrick.
What Jerry Harris is accused of?
Harris, 21, is accused of “enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself,” according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The minor was 13 at the time, the complaint said. A representative for Harris did not immediately return CNN’s request for comment via email.
Harris appeared in federal court in Chicago on Thursday afternoon, where the government sought his detention as a danger to the community. Harris’s attorney said he will seek his release saying he is “asthmatic” and at risk for Covid-19. Production of child pornography is punishable by a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years, a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office stated. Harris was interviewed by law enforcement this week on these accusations, according to the criminal complaint. Earlier this week, Harris was accused of child sexual exploitation and abuse in lawsuit filed by an attorney representing two alleged victims.
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A spokesperson for Harris told CNN at the time, “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.”
“Cheer” recently won two Emmy Awards and is nominated for outstanding unstructured reality program, which will be announced during the last night of the virtual Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Saturday. On Thursday, a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement to CNN: “Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process.”
CNN's Bill Kirkos and Hira Humayan contributed to this report.