AceShowbiz - Gabi Butler is "heartbroken" after her teammate and "Cheer" co-star Jerry Harris was arrested on federal child pornography charges.
Harris was taken into custody on Wednesday, September 16, with an official criminal complaint alleging he contacted an underage boy on social media and solicited him to produce sexually explicit videos and photographs of himself.
Taking to social media, Butler, a member of the Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team, admitted she's "shocked, dismayed, and deeply saddened" by the development, writing, "Ever since I heard the news I have gone back and forth between sobbing uncontrollably and trying to wrap my head around why something like this could happen."
"To be clear, although I have been a close friend and teammate with Jerry, I was never aware of anything like what he has been accused of taking place," Gabi continued.
"I believe the protection of children is more than important than ever in today's world and absolutely do not condone any actions that bring harm to a child. Issuing a statement like this hurts my heart more than any of you will ever know (sic)."
"As a Christian woman, the only thing I know to do is pray for all involved and the world we live in," she concluded, adding, "My heart is broken."
Harris' arrest came two days after the cheerleader was sued by twin brothers, who claimed they were sexually exploited by him when they were just 13-years-old.
In court documents, the siblings allege they befriended Harris during a cheer competition in 2018, and were "star struck" by him. In addition to text messages, they allegedly met up with Harris in "secluded locations at various competitions."
After their mother found out about the meetings, and the sexually explicit messages Harris allegedly sent her sons, she reported him to officials at top U.S. cheerleading organization Varsity, who contacted the police.
Harris worked for Varsity at a cheer camp last year.