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REPORT: 'Cheer' star Jerry Harris under FBI investigation for allegedly soliciting photos, sex from minors

"Cheer" is one of the biggest hits of 2020 for streaming giant Netflix. Now, one of its stars is back in the spotlight in connection with a criminal investigation.
Credit: WFAA
Morgan Simianer (left) and Jerry Harris sat down with WFAA on Jan. 8, 2020, to discuss the premiere of their new show on Netflix, 'Cheer.' The show follows their paths as members of Navarro College's cheer team.

"Cheer" is one of the biggest hits of 2020 for streaming giant Netflix.

Now, one of its stars is back in the spotlight in connection with a criminal investigation.

According to USA TODAY, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is investigating allegations that Jerry Harris, 21, solicited explicit photos and sex from minors.

USA TODAY reports FBI agents executed a search warrant at a home in Naperville, Illinois, on Monday afternoon as part of the investigation. 

RELATED: CHEER: Trinity Valley Community College, rivals of Navarro, seeking 1st national title since 2017

“The FBI is conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity in the area,” Siobhan Johnson, FBI special agent and public affairs officer, told USA TODAY.

The investigation stems from allegations by 14-year-old twin brothers from Texas, according to USA TODAY

"The boys described a pattern of harassment, both online and at cheer competitions, that started when they were 13 and Harris was 19," USA TODAY reports.

The boys told the national news outlet the harassment continued for more than a year, and they provided text messages and Snapchat messages they say back up their claims.

"Several include messages explicitly requesting nude photos or sex. In one conversation on Snapchat, an account with the name “.jerry harris” responded to a photo of [name redacted] stretching his leg above his head," USA TODAY reports.

Documents obtained by USA TODAY show Varsity, a private, nationwide brand of cheerleading apparel, also reported the allegations to police in Florida and Texas. Varsity claims some of the harassment occurred during a competition in May 2019, when Harris was a member of Cheer Athletics, a dominate competitive cheerleading program in the Dallas area.

USA TODAY reports Varsity has barred Harris from having any affiliation with their brands, subsidiaries and affiliates.

Cheer Athletics says they reported allegations to police when they learned of them. They say Harris has not been with the program since March of 2020.

The mother of the twins filed a lawsuit in Texas against Harris, Varsity, the U.S. All Star Federation and Cheer Athletics, according to USA TODAY. The lawsuit includes allegations of sexual misconduct at the hands of Harris and accuses the cheerleading organizations of negligence.

Harris' spokesperson released a statement to ABC News regarding the claims:

"We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager. We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed." 

Sources tell ABC News the allegations stem from Harris' text/social media messages and not physical activity/contact.

As of now, Harris has not been charged with a crime.

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