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Cheer star Jerry Harris sentenced to 12 years in prison in child pornography case

Jerry Harris, who gained worldwide attention for his role in Netflix's cheerleading documentary Cheer, has been sentenced to over a decade in prison on child pornography charges. 

A judge on Wednesday sentenced Harris to 12 years in prison followed by eight years of supervised release, telling him the sentence is an "expression of the seriousness of your crimes, tempered with some hope that all is not lost for you or for your victims, and that in the future some healing can occur," according to The Associated Press.

Harris was arrested on child pornography charges in 2020, and in February, he pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography and traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. 

Prosecutors said he "repeatedly" requested a 17-year-old boy send him sexually explicit photographs and videos and traveled to Florida to engage in sexually explicit conduct with a 15-year-old boy. In a plea agreement, Harris admitted he "requested and received other images of child pornography from two other minor boys" and "attempted to entice one of them to engage in sexual activity," prosecutors said. 

According to the AP, Harris apologized in court before his sentence was read. "I am deeply sorry for all the trauma my abuse has caused you," he said. "I pray deep down that your suffering comes to an end. I'm not an evil person. I'm still learning who I am and what my purpose is." 

His attorneys previously said in a statement to TMZ he will "spend the rest of his life making amends for what he has done."