Cheer star Jerry Harris pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to child pornography charges.
The plea agreement included two counts — receiving child pornography and engaging in interstate travel for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual act with a minor under the age of 15, CNN reported.
Harris, 22, appeared in federal court in Chicago and entered his plea in person before U.S. District Judge Manish Shah. The judge set a sentencing hearing for June 30. Harris will remain in custody until then and faces up to 30 years in prison on one of the charges.
Harris, a breakout star of Netflix’s cheerleading docuseries Cheer, was arrested in September 2020. Prosecutors said he solicited pornographic images and videos from 14-year-old twin brothers on multiple occasions, and he was charged on a child pornography count.
Related Story: ‘Cheer’ Season 2 Trailer Takes on Jerry Harris Arrest (Video)
Additional charges were filed in December 2020, and Harris pleaded not guilty at the time to seven felony counts.
Sarah Klein, an attorney for the victims, issued a statement Thursday after Harris agreed to plead guilty to two counts.
“We are grateful that the U.S. Attorney and the FBI investigated this case, located additional victims and took action. Now, Jerry Harris’ guilt has been firmly established,” Klein said. “This was made possible because our clients’ mother, Kristen initially had the courage to report Harris to the FBI and provided evidentiary proof of the manipulation, sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation that her sons had suffered. We now urge the authorities to undertake a thorough investigation of the United States All Star Federation, Varsity Spirit, and Cheer Athletics to determine which of their executives, employees, and representatives could have stopped Harris’ abuse and failed to do so.”
According to prosecutors, Harris first contacted one of the boys on Instagram in 2018. The teen said he sent nude photographs to Harris. The other boy alleged that Harris asked him for photographs but he always said no.
Prosecutors accused Harris of “enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself.”