We will finally get another season of Cheer two years after the show’s triumphant premiere in January 2020. The season’s logline states that the cheerleading team will face ‘unexpected events,’ threatening ‘the camaraderie of the team and the season itself.’ Cheer’s biggest ‘unexpected event’ will surely be the sexual misconduct allegations against Cheer’s breakout star Jerry Harris.
Jerry Harris’s positivity and energy made him a fan favorite on Cheer. He’d already filmed some season 2 scenes when federal authorities arrested him on sexual misconduct charges, including child pornography. Rather than ignore the situation or cancel the show, Netflix will tackle the allegations head-on, with Jerry’s accusers offering interviews in season 2.
Jerry remains in federal prison after a judge denied him bail
In October 2020, Judge Heather K. McShane denied Jerry bail because he presented a danger to the community. Judge Heather referred to Jerry as a ‘clear and present danger to the community, most notably defenseless children.’
Harris’ legal team presented four custodians of Harris who would monitor him and deny him access to the internet. Judge McShane ruled that even if the four custodians acted in utmost good faith, they couldn’t monitor Jerry’s internet activity effectively. Attorney Sarah Klein released a statement praising the court for its ruling:
“On behalf of our clients and the other victims of Jerry Harris, we thank the court for keeping Mr. Harris in custody. This ruling will not only ensure the protection of other children and the community, but it sends the message that the allegations made by our clients and Mr. Harris’s other victims are being taken very seriously.”
Jerry pleaded not guilty to charges involving five minor boys. Harris allegedly enticed a thirteen-year-old boy to send explicit images of himself. Two 14-year-old twins alleged that Jerry harassed them for sexual images when they were thirteen.
“We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager,” Harris spokesperson said. “We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”
The show’s director, Greg Whiteley, told NBC News that Jerry’s lawyers had blocked any contact with Harris. Greg feels that Jerry’s accusers ‘have an important story to tell,’ and he’s provided the platform for them to do it.
Greg said that he was ‘floored and heartbroken’ when he learned about the accusations against Jerry. Whiteley said that the perception he had of Jerry changed completely:
“Here was a person that I felt like I knew very, very well. But then there was news that led me to believe I didn’t know everything about this person and that led to, in a weird way, me mourning the passing of the person that I thought I knew.”
Jerry remains in federal custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.
Jerry faces at least 85 years in prison if found guilty of the charges
Jerry faces a lengthy prison term if found guilty of the charges against him. The four sexual exploitation counts and child pornography charge carry sentences of at least 15 years in prison. The enticement charge carries a minimum of 10 years.
Therefore, Jerry faces a minimum of 70 years in prison if found guilty.