The ugly accusations about a reality TV star just got worse: Jerry Harris, a favorite on the Netflix cheerleading series Cheer, has been arrested in Illinois and charged with producing child pornography, reports the Chicago Tribune. The 21-year-old faces 15 years in prison on that one count alone. Authorities say Harris has admitted to soliciting and receiving explicit videos and photos on Snapchat from 10 to 15 youths he knew were minors, reports USA Today. The criminal charges follow the revelation of a lawsuit brought against Harris by 14-year-old male twins who say that Harris communicated with them online and convinced them to exchange explicit images.
The court documents include nude images of a boy identified as “Minor 1,” along with a screen shot in which Harris writes: “I’m sorry for what I’ve done in the past. I don’t think it’s a good idea we be friends on Snap.” BuzzFeed also has details from the criminal complaint, which alleges that Harris paid minors for images and in at least one case for an explicit phone call. Harris rose to fame on the Netflix series, even working the red carpet of the 2020 Oscars as a correspondent for the Ellen DeGeneres show. When the lawsuit emerged earlier this week, a spokesperson for Harris “categorically” denied the claims.