Harris could be hit with as much as a 50-year sentence on June 28th.
Jerry Harris has accepted his fate. According to TMZ, the reality star plead guilty to child pornography charges during an appearance in a Chicago Federal court on Thursday, February 10th.
The publication reveals that the Cheer cast member entered a plea for two charges – receiving child porn using interstate commerce and travelling over state lines with intent to illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
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The 22-year-old has reportedly been under investigation by the FBI following his dangerous actions in May of 2019 when he allegedly solicited minors for sex. Authorities say that Harris “requested sexually inappropriate photos from teen boys,” which they ultimately sent to him.
The athlete was informed by the judge that sentencing guidelines call for him to receive 50 years behind bars, but the judge will have the final say when the June 28th hearing rolls around this summer.
Harris first rose to fame following the arrival of the first season of Netflix’s hit original series Cheer, which gave an inside look at the lives of competitive college cheerleaders as they strive to be the best and conquer their own personal demons. On the show, the Illinois native was known for his impressive “mat talk,” or his ability to hype his teammates up.
He was arrested for child pornography in September of 2020, and the criminal complaint alleges that he was 19 at the time of the incident, while the rumoured victims were just 13.
In an update later this afternoon, TMZ shared a statement from Jerry Harris’ attorneys on his behalf, revealing that he hopes to “take responsibility for his actions and publicly convey his remorse for the harm he has caused the victims in this case.”
Harris himself was said to have endured sexual abuse as a child, which “made him believe that this sexual conduct was normal when it’s not.” By pleading guilty, his lawyers say that the 22-year-old will “spend the rest of his life making amends for what he has done.”