'Cheer' star Jerry Harris appears in court by telephone for ongoing child pornography case
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Netflix star Jerry Harris briefly appeared in federal court on Wednesday for his ongoing child pornography case.
Harris, 22, pleaded not guilty to a slew of sex crime and child pornography charges in December. He was heard confirming his presence in the telephone conference held on Wednesday.
Harris was joined by his attorneys and Judge Manish S. Shah in the Northern District of Illinois.
The purpose of the hearing was for lawyers to communicate the status of the case to the judge. Judge Shah informed attendees he’s received a sealed status report from the defense and it will “remain under seal temporarily.”
Jerry Harris of Netflix’s "Cheer" docuseries pleaded not guilty to seven charges in his child pornography case.
“I do conclude that sealing the status report is appropriate to give the defense what it needs in order to conduct its continuing pretrial investigation,” Shah said.
The judge said the document will likely be unsealed in the future. The defense will continue its investigative steps, Shah said. The parties agreed to file a joint public status report on Oct. 6. A hearing may be scheduled at a later time, after 60 days from Wednesday, the judge said.
In December, Harris pleaded not guilty after an indictment of 7 new charges was filed against the Illinois native. The indictment accused Harris of seven new sex crime and child pornography charges and was filed nearly three months after his September arrest for a federal child pornography charge.
In the indictment, federal prosecutors charged Harris with crimes relating to five minors. Four of the counts allege Harris knowingly used, persuaded, induced and enticed a minor to “engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of transmitting a live visual depiction of such conduct.”
"Cheer" star Jerry Harris is facing federal charges for child pornography.
He has also been charged with knowingly persuading, inducing and enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity.
Additionally, Harris is charged with knowingly receiving and attempting to receive child pornography, including the use of a “computer,” as well as traveling “in interstate commerce, from Texas to Florida, for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct.” Each of the sexual exploitation charges reportedly carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years. The enticement charge carries a minimum of 10 years.
Prior to his September arrest, FBI agents reportedly executed a search warrant at a home in Naperville as part of the investigation. The initial criminal complaint filed against the Netflix star in the U.S. District Court in Chicago alleged that Harris contacted a male minor using a social media app and “repeatedly enticed him to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself and send them to Harris.”
According to the documents, law enforcement officials claim Harris “admitted” to asking a minor “to take photographs and videos of [his] penis and buttocks and to send the photos and videos to Harris through Snapchat, knowing that Minor 1 was 13 years old.”
He has remained in custody ever since his September arrest.
Harris rose to fame when he was featured in the popular docuseries “Cheer,” which debuted on Netflix in January and follows the competitive cheer squad at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, as it mounts up for a national championship.
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