Ex-Netflix star Jerry Harris came into the spotlight in January 2020 when the docuseries 'Cheer' based on the lives of competitive cheerleaders at Navarro College aired. On Wednesday the 6th of July 2022, he was sentenced to prison on the grounds of sex crimes involving minors.

According to USA Today, back in February Harris pleaded guilty to assaulting a 15-year-old in a bathroom at a cheerleading competition and to paying for explicit photographs from a 17-year-old on Snapchat.

Harris' defense cited court documents that stated that Harris has had a "warped" experience regarding relationships based on abuse that he has suffered in the past, having been assaulted at the age of 13 by a 19-year-old and fellow cheer gym-goer.

Character references were submitted by lawyers to the court from 80 people in the form of letters and videos, with submissions from Monica Aldama, the cheerleading coach at Navarro College and fellow cheerleading community members.

A 15 year sentence had been campaigned by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Guzman, who acknowledged Harris previous exposure to abuse but stated that it was "not a blank check to commit sex offenses against minors".

Harris was sentenced to 12 years in a federal prison, the U.S. District Judge Manish Shah including an 8 year supervised release. Harris expressed that his actions were "wrong and selfish" and apologized to the victims.

Victims of Harris provided court statements citing the post-traumatic stress and anxiety they suffered as a result of the abuse. One of the 16-year-old twins who was a victim of Harris' actions cited his fear surrounding the use of public bathrooms after Harris solicited sex from him there.

In her sentencing memorandum, she said "Harris used his celebrity and wealth to continue his exploitation of children, expanding the tools available to him to manipulate them into gratifying his seemingly insatiable sexual desires".

If you need help find resources at Rape Crisis Network Ireland.