Jerry Harris, one of the subjects of Netflix's hit cheerleading documentary series Cheer, has been arrested on a federal child pornography charge.
The U.S. Attorney's Office on Thursday said that 21-year-old Harris was arrested for "allegedly enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself," and he is charged with one count of producing child pornography. Harris allegedly contacted an underage boy through social media, who told him he was 13 years old, and "repeatedly enticed him" to produce and send him sexually explicit videos and photos, prosecutors said.
USA Today reported earlier this week that Harris was under investigation by the FBI, also reporting that Varsity Brands, a private company that conducts business in the cheerleading industry, had made police aware of "inappropriate sexual conduct" allegations against Harris. The investigation, USA Today writes, is "based on allegations brought by 14-year-old twin brothers," who "described a pattern of harassment, both online and at cheer competitions, that started when they were 13 and Harris was 19" and "continued for more than a year." An attorney representing the alleged victims filed a lawsuit against Harris earlier this week, CNN reports.
A spokesperson for Harris said "we categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager," adding that "we are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed." But Harris reportedly "admitted to investigators that he had asked the underage boy for sexually explicit photos through Snapchat," according to BuzzFeed News.
Prosecutors said Harris' initial court appearance is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.