Cheer star Jerry Harris is set to remain in custody until he will stand trial in his child pornography case.
The 21-year-old has been denied bond by a federal judge, agreeing with the prosecution’s wishes to keep him behind bars.
Prosecutors believe Harris could prey on minors if he was to be released on bond prior to his trial, stating that he has already abused multiple underage victims, and would likely revert back to this behaviour.
The judge also made reference to the police’s claim that he continued to target minors despite being tipped off about the federal investigation, arguing that the Netflix star was ‘consistent’ of his pursuit of the alleged victims.
Harris’ defence team have argued that he will not pose a threat or hurt people if he was released before the trial, as they claim he would not have access to the internet, instead having regular check-ups with a psychiatrist.
The judge disagreed with this argument, stating that a lack of criminal history was not enough to prove that Harris would not pose a threat to the community if he were to be released.
He had been arrested after allegedly enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photographs of himself and send them to him.
According to court reports, Harris admitted to soliciting and receiving explicit images from the minor.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the US District Court in Chicago, the minor allegedly informed Harris, who is said to have been 19 at the time, during their intitial online encounter that he was 13 years old.
Documents filed on Tuesday, which were first obtained by Buzzfeed News, also claim that Harris ‘exploited and violated’ at least 10 boys and sexually assaulted a 15-year-old boy in a public bathroom.
The papers claim that Harris, ‘by his own admission’, assaulted a 15-year-old boy ‘in an unlocked public bathroom, during an event attended by dozens responsible adults’ in 2019.
They also alleged that he has ‘victimised at least five to 10 children who are all forever damaged by his criminal conduct’, and say: ‘Harris repeatedly targeted young boys by reaching into their bedrooms through his cell phone and used guilt, threats and money to persuade them to engage in sexually explicit activity.’
Although Harris has yet to respond to the new filings, a previous statement from his spokesperson following his arrest said: ‘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.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted reps for Jerry Harris for further comment.
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