Jerry Harris, a fan favorite on the Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary series “Cheer,” was arrested and charged with production of child pornography in a federal court in Chicago on Thursday.
The court said Mr. Harris repeatedly enticed a 13-year-old boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself and send them to Mr. Harris.
A representative for Mr. Harris did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
USA Today had reported on Monday that the F.B.I. was investigating allegations that Mr. Harris asked for sex and nude photos from two now-14-year-old twin brothers he met at a cheerleading competition. The F.B.I. executed “court-authorized law enforcement activity” in Naperville, Ill., on Monday, its Chicago Division said.
Mr. Harris was sued in Texas on Monday by the boys, who say he sent and requested sexually explicit messages via text and social media and asked one of the them for sex at a cheerleading competition.
Mr. Harris “violated his role as a mentor, trainer, coach, sexually violated the Plaintiffs,” the lawsuit said, “and used his position of authority and power over the Plaintiffs.” Mr. Harris befriended the boys when they were 13 and Mr. Harris was 19.
A spokesperson for Mr. Harris told People on Wednesday: “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.”
Production of child pornography carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.
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