Cheer star Jerry Harris charged with producing child sex images
Jeremiah “Jerry” Lewis, one of the breakout stars of Netflix’s cheerleading documentary, Cheer, has been charged with producing child sex images.
The 21-year-old allegedly enticed an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself, the US attorney’s office said.
According to a lawsuit filed by the parents of two boys who were still 13 years old at the time of their interaction with Jerry, the Cheer star “exploited his popularity and position of fame with young male cheer athletes” in the time “leading up to, during, and following the distribution of the ‘Cheer’ docuseries.”
The incidents occurred last year.
According to the lawsuit, Jerry’s interaction with the two teenagers was not limited to the exchange of explicit messages, as he sent requests for “explicit” photographs while also sending “sexually explicit photos and videos of himself to Plaintiffs,” the lawsuit said.
A spokesperson for Jerry disputed the charges, telling CNN, “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.”
The United States All Star Federation (USASF), Varsity Spirit and Cheer Athletics, which was also named in the lawsuit, declined to comment on that case.
“USASF is committed to continued improvement in our athlete safety programs and addressing concerns brought to our attention,” a statement from the organization read.
Jerry was the breakout star of the show that followed the cheerleading team from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, as it sought a national title.