Illinois federal prosecutors are asking a judge to keep “Cheer” star Jerry Harris in custody as he awaits trial for child pornography.
According to court documents obtained by Fox News, prosecutors say Harris would be a danger to the community if ordered to take him home before trial. The Netflix star was arrested in September for allegedly instigating an underage boy to produce sexually explicit photos and videos of himself. He was charged with one count of producing child pornography.
The charge of producing child pornography carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.
In the government’s remand motion filed Tuesday in the Northern District of Illinois, prosecutors allege that Harris, “by his own admission, has forever damaged at least 5-10 underage boys” and as such, he also “doesn’t care about being caught committing his offenses, or just can’t help himself.” ”
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Prosecutors warn that “dedicated third party custodians” of Harris’s home presence would not be enough to deter him from further contact with minors.
“Established in this criminal complaint, and corroborated by the ongoing investigation, is that Harris is a dangerous child predator who targets children across the country for the purpose of sexual exploitation,” court prosecutors say. “Harris not only commits his offenses online, but he seeks to meet his victims in person for the purpose of practical offenses. ”
Lawyers for Harris did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on Wednesday.
The government cites an alleged incident in which Harris sexually assaulted an underage boy in an unlocked bathroom during a public event as an example of why he would be in danger if not detained. Prosecutors also say Harris has admitted to committing criminal acts in the past and believes he needs medical treatment.
“Harris shows all the signs of a serial child predator and unless and until he receives meaningful mental health sex offender treatment, he will remain a danger to any child he encounters, in online or in person, ”the court continued.
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Prosecutors also detail the initial allegations made by a 13-year-old boy who is referred to as “Minor 1” in the initial complaint against Harris.
“Harris used his age advantage to manipulate Minor 1 the same way all adult sexual predators manipulate a child. Through a combination of guilt, compliments and what has been described by several victims as “relentless persistence”, Harris was able to coerce The Minor 1 into taking sexually explicit photos of himself to feed Harris’s deviant desires. . The victimization of Minor 1 was not a one-time offense by Harris, ”prosecutors say. “This continued for over a year, involving the production and transportation of dozens of images of child pornography, all consumed by Harris. ”
Further, prosecutors say that if Harris were held at home prior to trial, he would find ways to contact victims over the Internet or by using a cell phone, citing an earlier admission by Harris himself that he had “destroyed her. cell phone ”after being“ informed of the investigation ”of him before his arrest.
“Within weeks of getting rid of his cell phone, Harris used his new ‘clean’ phone to reach out and re-victimize underage boys. It shows that Harris just can’t control his criminal impulses, or that he just doesn’t care about getting caught, ”the prosecution further claims.
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“If a gymnasium full of enthusiastic moms and dads isn’t enough to deter Harris from committing these crimes, a single mom will have no chance of protecting the Harris community,” prosecutors concluded.
Harris ‘accusation in September came days after it was revealed that the FBI executed a search warrant at Harris’ home in Naperville, Illinois.
At the time, a spokesperson for Harris told TMZ: “We categorically dispute the allegations made against Jerry Harris, which allegedly took place as a teenager. We are confident that when the investigation is completed, the real facts will be revealed. ”
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Netflix also previously said in a statement that it was “shocked” by the news.
“Like everyone else, we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we are following legal process, ”a spokesperson for the streamer told Fox News.
Harris rose to fame when he was featured in the original Netflix documentary series “Cheer,” which debuted on the streaming platform in January and follows the competitive bravery team at Navarro College in Corsicana, TX. , as she prepares for a national championship.