New York, 2022-06-23 20:23:41. Prosecutors seek 15 years for ex-“Cheer” star Harris
The attorney general has asked a federal judge to sentence Jerry Harris, the former star of the Netflix documentary series “Cheer,” to 15 years in prison for coercing teenage boys into sending him obscene photos and videos and soliciting sex from minors at cheerleading contests. .
Harris’s lawyers are seeking a six-year sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Guzman wrote in a sentencing memo late Wednesday that Harris used “his competitive leader status, his social media personality, and ultimately his fame and money, to persuade and lure his young victims to engage in explicit sexual behavior of him or him.”
Guzman also requested that the sentence include 10 years of supervised release after prison time.
Harris, 22, of the suburb of Naperville, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of receiving child pornography and traveling with the intent to engage in illegal sexual conduct. He is due to be sentenced on July 6 by US District Judge Manish Shah.
Defense attorneys requested that a six-year prison sentence follow after eight years of supervised release, calling Harris “both victim and victim,” saying he had sexually abused himself as a child.
“The trauma he suffered as a child normalized his perverted version of what he understood to be proper relationships. There was no one to defend him when he was sexually abused when he was a minor. He is grateful to his victims that this is not the case in this case, who is deeply remorseful.” Defense Lawyers Books.
Federal prosecutors acknowledged that the actor’s traumatic childhood was a mitigating factor in his crimes, but said “while Harris’ childhood was very difficult, committing sexual crimes against minors was not a blank check.”
Harris remains in detention in a federal detention facility.
Harris was arrested in September 2020 on charges of producing child pornography. Prosecutors alleged at the time that he requested videos and photos of two 14-year-old brothers.
According to the complaint, federal prosecutors said Harris repeatedly admitted asking an underage teen about pornographic videos and photos between December 2018 and March 2020.
Then in December of that year, he was charged with more charges alleging misconduct in Illinois, Florida and Texas. According to the indictment, Harris allegedly solicited sex from minors at cheerleading contests and persuaded teenage boys to send him obscene photos and videos.
Harris admitted to FBI agents that he asked a teenage boy to send him obscene photos, and requested child pornography on Snapchat from at least 10 to 15 others he knew were minors, according to the indictment.
“Cheer” was a huge hit when it was released in January 2020 and Harris became hugely popular due to his upbeat attitude and encouraging “continuous talk”. Harris even interviewed celebrities on the red carpet at the Academy Awards for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
The documentaries follow the competitive cheerleading squad from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas.
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