A star of the Netflix series Cheer, Jerry Harris, is under investigation for allegedly petitioning minors to have sex.
According to USA Today, the FBI is investigating allegations that celebrity cheerleader Jerry Harris solicited sexually explicit photos and sex from minors. On Monday afternoon at a home in Naperville, Illinois, as part of that investigation, agents executed a search warrant.
“The FBI is conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity in the area,” FBI special agent, Siobhan Johnson said before declining to further comment.
Harris, who gained national prominence when he was featured in Netflix’s recent “Cheer” docuseries, has not been criminally charged, but the investigation is based on allegations by 14-year-old twin brothers, who described to the publication a pattern of harassment that lasted for more than a year, both online and at cheer competitions, that started when they were 13 and Harris was 19.
The family provided USA Today with screenshots from five text and social media conversations between the boys and accounts they say belong to Harris. Several include messages explicitly requesting nude photos or sex. In one conversation on Snapchat, an account with the name “.jerry harris” responded to a photo of Charlie stretching his leg above his head.
“Do it naked and take a video and show me,” Harris replied privately, according to a screenshot.
One of the teenagers stated that his interactions with Harris left him “struggling with anxiety” adding that the messages led to him losing sleep, his grades falling and crying at school.
“It was just eating me alive,” the 14-year old said. “It was just making me so gross and uncomfortable. Every time I saw his name or something like that, I was just cringing about it.”
The allegations were also reported to police by Varsity Brands, a private company that handles almost everything in the cheerleading industry, after the complaint to their organization stated that Harris allegedly asked one of the brothers to have sex with him in 2019 at two different Varsity cheerleading competitions.
In Aug. 1 letters to police in Florida and Texas, Varsity’s Chief Legal Officer Burton Brillhart said the company had learned of “inappropriate sexual conduct” allegations against Harris and was reporting the information to authorities as required by law.
“As a result of the recent allegation, we have barred this person from having any affiliation with Varsity Brands or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, now and in the future,” Brillhart wrote in a statement.
On Monday (Sept 14), a spokeswoman for the organization told the press that they “can’t comment on an active law enforcement investigation; we continue to cooperate with authorities in their inquiries on this matter.”
As of press time, no charges have been filed against Harris as the investigation is still ongoing.