The 21-year-old cheerleader was taken into custody at his home in Naperville, Illinois, for allegedly enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of him, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The arrest comes three days after 13-year-old twin boys filed a lawsuit alleging Harris had sent them sexually explicit photos of himself and "cornered one of them in a bathroom and begged for oral sex", per The Guardian.
Harris released a statement following news of the lawsuit, denying any wrongdoing on his part. "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,” his rep said.
FBI later raided Harris' home on September 14, with court documents revealing he admitted to asking one of the teens to send him sexually explicit photographs and videos via Snapchat. He also claimed to admit to requesting and receiving child sexual abuse images from "at least between 10 to 15 other individuals he knew were minors."
La'Darius Marshall, Gabi Butler, Jerry Harris and Monica Aldama
Harris, who was a member of the cheerleading team at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, gained worldwide fame on the Emmy-nominated Netflix series for his upbeat attitude and spirited pep talks.
“Like everyone we are shocked by this news,” a Netflix spokeswoman said on Thursday, via the New York Times. “Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process.”
In the U.S., production of child pornography carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.
Grace BackGrace is our Digital News and Entertainment Editor. When not stuck in a seemingly endless Instagram scroll, you'll find Grace with her head in a good book.