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.
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."
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."
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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."
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