Prosecutors request 'Cheer' star Jerry Harris stay in detention until child pornography trial: court docs

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Federal prosecutors in Illinois are requesting a judge keep "Cheer" star Jerry Harris detained as he awaits trial for child pornography.

According to court documents obtained by Fox News, prosecutors argue that Harris would be a danger to the community if he were ordered home detention ahead of trial. The Netflix star was arrested in September for allegedly enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit photos and videos of himself. He has been charged with one count of producing child pornography.

The charge of production of child pornography carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.

In the government's motion for pretrial detention filed on Tuesday in the Northern District of Illinois, prosecutors allege Harris, "by his own admission, has forever damaged at least 5 to 10 minor boys" and as such, he "either does not care about being caught committing his offenses, or simply cannot help himself."


Jeremiah Harris, one of the stars of the popular Netflix documentary "Cheer," was arrested in September on a federal child pornography charge.

Prosecutors warn that "dedicated third-party custodians" in the presence of Harris at home would not be enough to deter him from having future contact with minors.

"Established in this criminal complaint, and corroborated by the continuing investigation, is that Harris is a dangerous child predator who targets children all over the country for purposes of sexual exploitation," prosecutors state in the court docs. "Harris not only commits his offenses online, but he seeks to meet his victims in person for purposes of hands-on offenses."

Attorneys for Harris did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment on Wednesday.

The government cites an alleged incident where Harris sexually assaulted one minor boy in an unlocked bathroom at a public cheer event as an example of why he'd be at risk if not detained. Prosecutors also argue that Harris has admitted to past alleged criminal acts and believes he is in need of medical treatment.

"Harris exhibits all the signs of a serial child predator and unless 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," the court docs continue.


Prosecutors also detail the initial claims made by a 13-year-old boy who is referred to as "Minor 1" in the initial complaint against Harris. 

"Harris used his age advantage to manipulate Minor 1 in the same way that all adult sexual predators manipulate a child. Through a combination of guilt, compliments, and what has been described by multiple victims as 'unrelenting persistence,' Harris was able to coerce Minor 1 into taking sexually explicit photographs of himself to feed Harris' deviant desires. The victimization of Minor 1 was not a one-time offense by Harris," prosecutors claim. "It continued for over a year involving the production and transportation of dozens of child pornography images all consumed by Harris."

Additionally, prosecutors claim that if Harris were under home detention ahead of trial, he would find ways to contact victims over the Internet or through the use of a cell phone, citing a past admission from Harris himself that he "destroyed his cell phone" upon being "tipped off to the investigation" into him ahead of his arrest.

"Just weeks after getting rid of his cell phone Harris used his new "clean" phone to again reach out and victimize minor boys. This demonstrates that Harris either simply cannot control his criminal impulses, or he simply does not care about getting caught," the prosecution further claims.


"If a full gymnasium of cheer moms and dads is not enough to deter Harris from committing these crimes, a single cheer mom will have no chance at protecting the community from Harris," prosecutors concluded.

In a motion filed Thursday, prosecutors argue that Jerry Harris should stay detained until trial.

Harris' charge in September came days after it was revealed that the FBI executed a search warrant on Harris' home in Naperville, Ill.

At the time, a spokesperson for Harris told TMZ: "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 complete the true facts will be revealed."

Netflix also previously said in a statement they were "shocked" by the news.

"Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process," a spokesperson for the streamer told Fox News.

Harris rose to fame when he was featured on the original Netflix docuseries “Cheer," which debuted on the streaming platform in January and follows the competitive cheer squad at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, as they mount up for a national championship.

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