Americans were shocked earlier this year when Netflix Cheer star Jerry Harris pleaded guilty in federal court to charges involving child pornography and soliciting sex from underage boys.
According to Fox News, the woman prosecuting Harris is now asking that he be put away for 15 years.
Using his status
In a sentencing memo submitted on Wednesday to Judge Manish Shah, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Guzman laid out her case for why the defendant is deserving of serious time behind bars.
Specifically, she pointed to how Harris used “his status as a competitive cheerleader, his social media persona, and eventually his celebrity and money, to persuade and entice his young victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct for him or with him.”
In addition to a 15-year prison sentence, the federal prosecutor is also seeking to have Harris placed on supervised release for a decade following his release.
Meanwhile, Harris’s defense attorneys are asking for a six-year prison sentence combined with eight years of supervised release.
His own experience
They pointed to Harris’ own experience of allegedly being abused and argued that this should be taken as a mitigating factor.
“The trauma he experienced as a child normalized his skewed version of what he understood to be appropriate relationships,” the wrote.
“No one was there to stand up for him when he was sexually assaulted as a minor. He is grateful that is not the case for his victims in this case, to whom he is profoundly remorseful,” the lawyers went on to insist.
For her part, Guzman acknowledged Harris’ traumatic history and called his childhood “very difficult,” she added that “it was not a blank check to commit sex offenses against minors.”
Fox News stated that Harris was originally arrested in September of 2020 on allegations that he solicited pornographic videos and images from a pair of 14-year-old brothers.
Additional charges came in December following claims that he solicited sex from minors at cheerleading competitions in Illinois, Florida and Texas while also convincing teenage boys to send him explicit images and videos.