Netflix Star Jerry Harris Was Victim of ‘Cheer World’ Where Predators Are ‘Unchecked,’ His Lawyer Argue

Netflix Star Jerry Harris Was Victim of ‘Cheer World’ Where Predators Are ‘Unchecked,’ His Lawyer Argue

Jerry Harris, the breakout star of Netflix’s Cheer who has been accused of coercing nearly a dozen young boys into sending him explicit photos and videos, is a victim of the competitive cheerleading world “where sexual predators were largely unchecked with children of all ages,” his lawyers said in a Wednesday motion arguing for his release on bail.

Harris, 21, has been in federal custody since his arrest last month on child pornography charges. He allegedly pressured at least 10 young boys—including a 13-year-old he met on Instagram—to send him explicit photos and videos, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois said. He also allegedly admitted to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old in an unlocked public bathroom during a cheerleading event last year and now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Harris’ lawyers argue he should be released on bond to receive “mental health treatment” after a childhood in cheerleading that “exposed” him to the sexual experiences of older kids. But prosecutors insist the 21-year-old is a “clear and present danger” as a “brazen sexual predator” who cannot control his urges.

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