'Cheer' Star Jerry Harris Slapped With 12-Year Prison Sentence in Child Sex Crimes Case

The sentencing arrives after the 22-year-old former cheerleader pleaded guilty to two out of seven sexual abuse and child pornography charges back in February.

AceShowbiz - Jerry Harris will spend his time behind bars soon. On Wednesday, July 6, the "Cheer" star was been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison in his child sex crimes case.

Per NBC News' report, the 22-year-old was "indicted on seven counts of receiving and attempting to receive child pornography and of persuading minors to engage in sexual contact from August 2017 to August 2020." According to prosecutors, the acts involved victims in Texas, Florida and Illinois.

Aside from the 12-year prison sentence, the former cheerleader was sentenced to 8 years of court-supervised release. It was confirmed by Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

The sentencing arrived after Jerry pleaded guilty to two out of seven sexual abuse and child pornography charges in February, departing from the not guilty plea he entered more than a year ago. He changed his original not guilty plea in a Chicago court.

The disgraced Netflix star told Judge Manish S. Shah that he reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and was pleading guilty to two of those counts, which involved charges that he persuaded a 17-year-old to send him sexually explicit photos for money and traveled to Florida "for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct" with a 15-year-old.

In a statement to Rolling Stone, his attorneys wrote that the TV personality "wishes to take responsibility for his actions and publicly convey his remorse for the harm he has caused." The statement continued to read, "Jerry is a 22-year-old young man whose story can only be understood through the lens of the extreme poverty, sexual abuse, and neglect of his childhood."

The attorneys also claimed that Jerry himself was "manipulated and sexually abused as a child" and contextualized his criminal actions by saying that the cheerleading community "perversely made him believe that this sexual conduct was somehow normal when it was not." The statement then alleged that Jerry didn't have a safe place to share his own experiences of being exploited, so he masked his trauma with a "bright face."

"Since his incarceration, Jerry has actively sought out and is participating in mental health treatment and therapy both for his conduct and the diagnosed trauma disorders for which he suffers," Jerry's legal team continued. "With his plea of guilty, Jerry will spend the rest of his life making amends for what he has done."

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