Netflix’s Cheer star and former Joe Biden presidential campaign surrogate Jerry Harris was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison in his child pornography case.
Harris will also be required to register as a sex offender for life, and pay a $55,000 fine, according to a report by WIVB 4, which added that the former Netflix star is facing eight years of supervised release after his prison term.
Harris held an Instagram chat with Joe Biden mere weeks before he became the center of an FBI investigation into sex solicitation.
In 2020, Harris was arrested on production of child pornography charges after he was accused of soliciting sex from minors, and pressuring 14-year-old boys to send him phonographic photos and videos.
An affidavit further stated that one of underage teens reported having “one in-person encounter” with Harris, and that the Netflix star “solicited oral sex” the minor, “in a bathroom at a cheerleading event.”
In February, the former Cheer star pled guilty in a deal to one count of receipt of child pornography and another of traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
At the time, prosecutors said that if the case had gone to trial, their evidence would show that in the summer of 2020, Harris communicated with a minor — whom he knew was under the age of 18 — via Snapchat, where he repeatedly asked for photos of a sexual nature.
As for the second charge, Harris had traveled from Dallas, Texas, to Orlando, Florida, in May 2019 intending to engage in sexual conduct with a 15-year-old, whom he asked to meet in a public bathroom.
Oprah Winfrey speaks with the stars of Netflix’s Cheers, (L-R) Monica Aldama, Jerry Harris, Gaby Butter, Lexi Brumback, TT Baker and Dillion Brandt during Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour presented by WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined) at American Airlines Center on February 15, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)
Earlier this year, Harris’ defense team told Nexstar’s WGN that the criminal conduct “took place in the context of a competitive Cheer Community where inappropriately sexualizing and sexually abusing children was far too common and too often overlooked.”
“Jerry was himself exploited, manipulated, and sexually abused as a child within the Cheer Community in a way that perversely made him believe that this sexual conduct was somehow normal when it was not,” the defense team added.