Jerry Harris, who previously starred in the Netflix docuseries Cheer, 被判处 12 years in prison for child pornography charges.
哈里斯, 22, was handed the sentence on Wednesday, 今日美国 报告.
Harris appeared in court for the sentencing where his close friends and family spoke about his integrity and character, 每 TMZ.
After serving 12 年, Harris will complete eight years of a court-supervised release, Joseph D. 菲茨帕特里克, assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, 告诉 美国全国广播公司新闻.
根据出口, prosecutors said Harris should get 15 年, alleging that he used “his status as a competitive cheerleader, his social media persona, and eventually his celebrity and money” to convince minor boys to send him sexually inappropriate photos and messages.
Prosecutors claimed Harris was a self-proclaimed “mentor who could be trusted,” and would pay his victims for sexual conduct. If they declined, 他 “threatened to disseminate the videos they had sent if they refused to continue,” prosecutors alleged according to NBC News.
In their request for Harris to receive a six-year sentence, the reality star’s legal team said he suffered sexual abuse himself when he was underage, which caused him to have a “skewed version of what he understood to be appropriate relationships,” 每个出口.
A lawyer for Harris did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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在九月 2020, the prominent cheerleader and television personality was sued by teenage brothers, 谁是 13 和 “star-struck” when they met him, for allegedly soliciting sex and nude photos from them. The same week, Harris was arrested on suspicion of producing child pornography.
Three months later, 在十二月 2020, a seven-count indictment was unsealed accusing Harris of additional criminal acts that took place in Florida, Illinois and Texas — all involving minors and sexual in nature. 他 不认罪 to each of the seven charges a week later.
二月里, Harris departed from his original plea and 认罪 to two out of seven sexual abuse and child pornography charges — receiving child pornography and crossing state lines for the purpose of engaging in an illicit sexual act with a minor under the age of 15.
As part of his plea agreement with prosecutors, the other charges were dropped, 纽约时报 报道.
哈里斯’ defense team shared a statement with PEOPLE following his change of plea, claiming that he made the decision to plead guilty “because he wishes to take responsibility for his actions and publicly convey his remorse for the harm he has caused the victims in this case.”
“Jerry is a 22-year-old young man whose story can only be understood through the lens of the extreme poverty, 性虐待, and neglect of his childhood,” 声明继续. “Jerry was himself exploited, manipulated, and sexually abused as a child within the cheer community in a way that perversely made him believe that this sexual conduct was somehow normal when it was not.”
Harris rose to prominence when Cheer premiered on 网飞 at the start of 2020, and his fan base continued to grow when he made headlines for serving as 艾伦·德杰尼勒斯‘ correspondent at the Oscars 和 providing encouragement during the COVID-19 lockdowns that followed shortly after.
Only a few months into his newfound stardom, the sex crime allegations halted his career.
如果您或您认识的人是性虐待的受害者, 文本 “力量” 到危机文本行 741-741 与经过认证的危机顾问联系.
如果您怀疑虐待儿童, 拨打 Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-Child 或 1-800-422-4453, 或访问 www.childhelp.org. 所有电话都是免费且保密的. 热线可用 24/7 在以上 170 语言.