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'Cheer' star Jerry Harris charged with producing child pornography

Jerry Harris, a breakout star of the Netflix series "Cheer," was arrested three days after the FBI raided his home in Naperville, Illinois.
Credit: KCEN

Jerry Harris, one of the stars of the Netflix documentary series "Cheer," was arrested Thursday morning and charged in federal court in Chicago with producing child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to the criminal complaint, Harris contacted an underage boy on a social media app and "repeatedly enticed him to produce sexually explicit videos and photographs of himself and send them to Harris." 

The victim informed Harris during their initial online encounter that he was 13 years old, the complaint stated.

The complaint charged Harris with one count of producing child pornography.  

Details of Harris's arrest Thursday comes after twin boys in Texas said that beginning when they were 13, Harris sent them sexually explicit photos and videos of himself, and at one point cornered one boy in a bathroom at a cheer competition and begged for oral sex, according to a lawsuit.

USA TODAY, which first reported the allegations, said Monday that multiple sources told the newspaper that the FBI was investigating accusations that Harris solicited sexually explicit photos and sex from minors.

RELATED: Netflix 'Cheer' star, Jerry Harris, named in lawsuit claiming he sexually exploited teens

The lawsuit filed Monday in Texas against Harris and three cheer organizations says the boys' mother reported Harris to the FBI last month.

The boys’ mother told USA TODAY that both boys have spoken to the FBI. The newspaper reported that law enforcement agents on Monday were at Harris’ home in Naperville, Illinois.

The FBI said in a statement provided to The Associated Press that it had conducted “court-authorized law enforcement activity” in Naperville on Monday, but the FBI said that policy prevented the agency from commenting on “the existence or nonexistence of any investigations that may be occurring.”

Harris, 21, was a breakout star of the Netflix documentary series “Cheer,” which followed the cheerleading team from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, as they sought a national title.

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of sexual exploitation by Harris is encouraged to call the FBI Chicago Field Office at 312-421-6700.