CHICAGO (CBS) — The FBI Chicago Field Office on Tuesday said it was seeking information to identify additional potential victims of “Cheer” star Jerry Harris, who stands charged with producing child pornography.
FBI Chicago Field Office Special Agent-in-Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. said a web page has been created at https://www.fbi.gov/jerryharris. On the website, victims can report contact with Harris and find additional victim resources.
Anyone can also report victimization by calling the Chicago Field Office at (312) 421-6700.
The FBI is specifically looking for people who were under 18 when Harris contacted them to produce sexually graphic images or engage in sexual contact – whether in person or through these social media accounts:
• SnapChat username “jerry_714”
• Instagram username __jcoleofficial
• Or any other account believed to be used by Harris
Harris, 21, of Naperville, was arrested last Thursday on child porn charges that accuse him of coercing underage boys to send him nude photos and videos of themselves, and in some cases soliciting them for sex.
During his first court hearing on Monday, Harris’ attorney told a federal judge they were not ready to argue for his release from custody, as they were still working to arrange for a “suitable residence” and a person to serve as a third-party custodian if Harris is granted bail. Harris waived a detention hearing for now, and will be allowed to come back to request bail once those arrangements have been made. Until then, he will remain in federal custody.
The Naperville resident – full name Jeremiah Harris – is accused specifically of luring two boys to send him sexual pictures. But the charges against him say he admitted doing the same to as many as 10 to 15 other children he met through cheerleading competitions.
“Cheer” is a docuseries that details competitive cheerleading, and it is in that atmosphere that Harris is accused of forming relationships with younger male cheerleaders and then exploiting them for child porn pictures and videos and in some cases, sex.
According to the charges against him, Harris contacted twin underage boys on social media apps, and repeatedly asked them to produce sexually explicit videos and photographs of themselves and send them to Harris. One of the boys agreed to send Harris naked pictures and videos of himself, but the other declined.
The boy who did send the images informed Harris during their initial online encounter that he was 13 years old, the federal complaint states. The complaint charges Harris with one count of producing child pornography.