Entertainment

Cheer’s Jerry Harris Apologizes to Sex Crime Conviction Victims: ‘I’m Not a Bad Person’

Jerry Harris said he was “not a bad person” as he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for crimes related to child pornography and soliciting sex with a minor.

The star of Netflix To cheer apologized to his victims and said he’s still learning who I am at a sentencing hearing in federal court in Chicago on Wednesday (July 6).

Prosecutors had pushed for a lengthy sentence, saying Harris’ status as a popular celebrity enabled him to “convince and seduce” his young victims into engaging in sexual activity.

As Judge Manish S Shah handed him the verdict, he urged the disgraced social media star and cheerleading champion to take it as “an expression of the seriousness of your crimes, tempered with a certain hope that all is not for you or.” Your victim is lost and that in the future healing can happen”.

Harris appeared in court for the verdict, which lasted about seven hours.

Before receiving his verdict, he addressed his victims, saying: “I am deeply sorry for all the trauma my abuse has caused you.

“I deeply pray that your suffering will end,” he said, adding, “I’m not a bad person. I’m still learning who I am and what my purpose is.”

The cast of Netflix’ Cheer, including Jerry Harris

(Getty Images for Spotify)

Harris, 22, has been incarcerated in a federal prison since his arrest in September 2020 on child pornography charges.

Prosecutors at the time claimed he requested videos and pictures of two 14-year-old brothers.

According to a complaint, federal prosecutors said Harris admitted to repeatedly asking an underage teenager about pornographic videos and images between December 2018 and March 2020.

In December 2020, he was indicted on additional misconduct charges in Illinois, Florida and Texas.

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At a hearing in February this year, Harris pleaded guilty to two of seven counts. This included convincing a 17-year-old boy to send him sexually explicit photos in exchange for money.

The other count came from a trip he made to Florida to “engage in illegal sexual conduct” with a 15-year-old.

Prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining five charges under a plea agreement.

One US child pornography charge carries a prison sentence of between five and 20 years, and a second charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years.

Chicago native Harris was the star of the breakthrough To cheer. The Netflix series follows a cheerleading team from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas on their quest for a national title.

The second season of To cheer deals with the investigation into Harris in an episode titled “Jerry.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/cheer-jerry-harris-sentencing-victims-b2117638.html Cheer’s Jerry Harris Apologizes to Sex Crime Conviction Victims: ‘I’m Not a Bad Person’

JOE HERNANDEZ

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