(CHICAGO) — Cheer star Jerry Harris was arrested Thursday and charged with one count of producing child pornography, the United States District Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Illinois announced.
Harris, 21, has been accused of contacting two underage boys on social media and repeatedly asking them to produce and send sexually explicit videos and photographs of themselves, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
The complaint also states that one of the victims, who said that he was first contacted by Harris in December 2018, informed Harris during a conversation on social media that he was 13 years old.
An attorney for Harris did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment. His attorneys also declined to speak to reporters while leaving court on Thursday.
Harris is scheduled to appear in court for a detention hearing on Monday. If convicted, the TV personality could face 15 to 30 years in prison.
USA Today reported Monday that the FBI had executed a search warrant at Harris’ home in Naperville, Illinois, amid allegations that he’d solicited sex and sexually explicit photographs from minors. At the time, a representative for the FBI would only confirm that the organization was conducting “court-authorized law enforcement activity in the area,” and offered no additional comment.
A spokesperson for Harris denied the allegations in a statement provided to ABC News.
“We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager,” the spokesperson said. “We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”
The alleged victims and their mother filed a lawsuit on Monday in Texas against Harris, Varsity Brands, the U.S. All Star Federation and the Cheer Athletics gym where Harris cheered.
By Lesley Messer , Matthew Stone & Monica Escobedo
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