The FBI is looking to identify any ‘additional potential victims’ of Cheer star, Jerry Harris.
The 21-year-old, who shot to fame following his starring role in the Netflix docuseries earlier this year, was arrested on a child pornography charge in Illinois last Thursday.
Harris was charged in relation to an alleged attempt to solicit explicit photos from a 13-year-old boy. He also allegedly admitted to trying to obtain X-rated images from dozens of other minors.
In light of those claims, the FBI released a statement on its website Tuesday in a bid to find others ‘under the age of 18 who were asked by Harris to produce or view sexually graphic videos or photographs or engage in sexual conduct’.
The Bureau says Harris may have used his Snapchat account – @jerry_714 – or his Instagram account – @__jcoleofficial – to chat with the minors.
The FBI is looking to identify any ‘additional potential victims’ of Cheer star, Jerry Harris (pictured), following his arrest on a child porn charge last week
Harris (far right) is pictured with his Cheer co-stars. The group shot to fame earlier this year, following the realse of their popular docuseries on Netflix
Those who believe they have been victimized by Harris, or who are the guardians of a possible victim, are asked to complete a questionnaire on the FBI’s website.
‘Your responses are voluntary but may be useful in the federal investigation and to identify you as a potential victim… Based on your responses, you may be contacted by the FBI and asked to provide additional information. All identities of victims will be kept confidential,’ the statement reads.
It comes as Harris remains behind bars following the shock charge last Thursday.
Earlier this month, 14-year-old cheerleading twin brothers in Texas filed a lawsuit against Harris alleging he solicited sexually explicit photos from them for a year and asked one of them for oral sex.
Prosecutors say Harris subsequently admitted in an interview with FBI agents last week that he had asked the boy, who was then 13, to send him photographs and videos of his penis and buttocks on Snapchat.
Harris also allegedly admitted to soliciting explicit photos from dozens of other underage boys and engaging in a sex act with a 15-year-old at a cheer comp.
The allegations stem from complaints made by 14-year-old twin boys in Texas who are also competitive cheerleaders. The boys, Charlie and Sam, are not identified in the criminal complaint but they gave an interview to USA Today this week speaking about the allegations
Harris shot to fame earlier this year following his lead role in the Netflix docuseries
Harris has been the subject of an FBI investigation following allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with a minor. His arrest comes just three days after the FBI raided his home in Naperville, Illinois
The 28-page criminal complaint related to his arrest, which came just days after the FBI raided his home in Naperville, Illinois, contained a number of screenshots of Harris’ exchanges with the Texas twins.
The boys, Charlie and Sam, are not identified in the criminal complaint but they gave an interview to USA Today this week speaking about the allegations after filing the lawsuit.
The FBI started investigating after the allegations were reported to authorities by Varsity, which is the global authority of competitive cheerleading.
Agents interviewed the two boys in late August. The mother of the twins found text messages and the explicit images and videos on her sons’ phones in February, according to the complaint.
In the criminal complaint, Harris is accused of contacting both boys on social media as early as 2018 and soliciting explicit images from both of them.
One of the boys, identified as Minor 2, told authorities that he always refused to send Harris any explicit images.
The other boy, identified as Minor 1, said he sent more than a dozen sexually explicit photos and videos to Harris, at his request, on Snapchat between December 2018 and March 2020.
Harris, who was 19 at the time, is also accused of sending the boy explicit images of himself and footage of him masturbating.
The boy claims Harris also once asked him for oral sex in bathroom when they both attended a cheer competition in February 2019.
The criminal complaint related to his arrest includes several photos and message exchanges allegedly between Harris and the boy. In one Snapchat exchange included in the complaint, the boy sent a photo of himself and Harris allegedly responded: ‘Do it naked and take a video’
The complaint says that Harris sent this photo to one of the boys on Snapchat asking: ‘Would you ever want to ***’. The boy told authorities he interpreted this as Harris asking him to engage in sex acts
Three months later, Harris allegedly sent the boy a text message saying he had ‘found a place for us to do stuff’ at another cheer competition. The boy told authorities that he understood that to mean Harris wanted to engage in sex acts with him.
The boy denied Harris’ requests for sex acts on both occasions, according to the complaint.
The complaint says Harris first contacted the boy on Instagram in 2018 who told him he was only 13.
Harris allegedly responded: ‘Oh ok have any pics?’, before adding the photos should be of his face and ‘booty’.
The boy told investigators that Harris then asked him to communicate on Snapchat going forward.
In one exchange, the boy posted a photo on social media of himself doing a cheerleading maneuver called ‘the needle’.
He told investigators that Harris forwarded him the photo on Snapchat and asked: ‘Do it naked and take a video and show me.’
The other twin, Minor 2, told investigators that Harris had contacted him on Snapchat and asked him to send ‘nude pictures’ of himself and photos ‘naked with your butt’.
The complaint says Harris first contacted the boy on Instagram in 2018 who told him he was only 13. Harris allegedly responded: ‘Oh ok have any pics?’, before adding the photos should be of his face and ‘booty’
Pictured above on the left is a screenshot included in the complaint of several nude photos that he allegedly sent to Harris. Harris’ face can be seen in one of the images. Pictured right is a text Harris allegedly sent the boy saying he had ‘found a place for us to do stuff’ at a cheer competition
The complaint said the exchanges between Harris and one of the boys stopped earlier this year. A text message included in the complaint shows the boy asking Harris why he had blocked him on Snapchat. ‘I don’t think we should be friends on Snap,’ Harris said
He also said Harris sent him a message asking to meet for a sexual encounter. That message was a selfie of Harris with the message: ‘Would you ever want to ***’, according to the complaint.
The boy told authorities he interpreted this as Harris asking him to engage in sex acts.
The complaint said the exchanges between Harris and Minor 1 stopped earlier this year.
A text message included in the complaint shows the boy asking Harris why he had blocked him on Snapchat.
‘I don’t think we should be friends on Snap,’ Harris said.
When the boy asked why, Harris responded: ‘I’m sorry for what I’ve done in the past. I don’t think it’s a good idea we be friends on Snap.’
The boy told investigators he thought Harris was apologizing for asking him to send photos in the past.
The complaint says Harris was interviewed at his home on Monday and he admitted that he asked for photos of one of the twin boys despite knowing he was 13.
He also allegedly admitted to asking for explicit photos of the boy over the next year and to asking his brother if he wanted to engage in sexual acts.
Harris allegedly told investigators that he had also solicited explicit images from about 10 to 15 other underage boys.
He also provided authorities with the name of a 15-year-old boy he said he had anal and oral sex with at a cheer event in 2019.
Harris rose to fame as a star of the Netflix series Cheer. He is pictured above with his costars and coach during an appearance on Ellen
Harris was the breakout star of the show that followed the cheerleading team from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, as it sought a national title.
Cheer was an instant success when it was released in January and Harris drew fans for his upbeat attitude and his encouraging ‘mat talk’.
Earlier this year, he interviewed celebrities on the red carpet at the Academy Awards for The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
In the lawsuit filed by the twin boys, they described a pattern of harassment from Harris both online and at cheer competitions that they say lasted a year.
Besides accusing Harris of sexual misconduct, the lawsuit alleges that cheer organizations failed to protect the boys.
The organizations named in the lawsuit are US All Star Federation, which governs competitive cheerleading; Varsity Spirit, which puts on competitions; and the Cheer Athletics, a chain of gyms.
A Varsity official in August 1 letters to police in Florida and Texas said the organization had learned of ‘inappropriate sexual conduct’ allegations against Harris.
Cheer Athletics owner Angela Rogers has said that Harris hasn’t been affiliated with the gym since March 1.
Rogers said she learned of the allegations against him in mid-May and reported them to police.
A Netflix spokesperson said: ‘Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process.’